Baker Transportation Center Ground Breaking Event

Many People don’t know what it is like to not have a vehicle; to not be able to visit a friend or family member in a moment’s notice or not be able to drive to a job that’s miles away. Most people probably take for granted that they can easily get a child to a doctor’s appointment or bring a car load of groceries home, yet many people in this county struggle daily with doing these things because they lacj a running vehicle or have no car at all.

                Over the last couple of years Baker County has been getting connected with public transportation. It started with a shuttle but to Jacksonville and, most recently, a second shuttle to Lake City. On Thursday, August 14th ground breaking history was made in the right direction as the first shovels full of dirt were thrown to commerce the next phase of this project. The Baker County Transportation Center, will be located at the intersection of Buck Starling Road and Willis Hodges Road (directly behind Winn-Dixie) and will begin construction immediately on five of the ten acres of land that was purchased by the Baker County Council on Aging, Inc. (BCCOA). The County was given a grant for this history making project from the Department of Transportation to build Baker County’s first transportation Center. They will be seeking an additional grant to fund a long awaiting new Council on Aging building to be built on the adjacent five acres at this site. The construction of these buildings is a dream-come-true for many, with plenty of nightmare obstacles along the way. But the supporters of these projects refused to give up on the vision, understanding that it is a sign of growth and new opportunity for our community. None of this would be possible without people like our County Manager, C.J. Thompson, the Baker County Council on Aging Board President, Barbara Yarbrough, and Mike Dillon from the F & G Construction Company – each who spoke briefly about their commitment to see this venture become a reality. City Commissioner, Sam Kitching, also gave thanks as he opened the event with prayer to honor and praise the one who truly made all of this possible.

                The Transportation Center is proposed to be opened by the first part of spring, but the excitement of seeing even the beginning stages come to fruition brought smiles and even a few tears of joy from those most passionate about meeting our growing communities’ needs. This center will become the mail hub for Transportation information, purchasing bus passes, and providing schedules. But this is not the only exciting news! The new Council on Aging building will hopefully have its prospective ground breaking event on the other half of the property soon after the Transportation Center is up and running. The staff and supporters of the BCCOA, are devoted to their mission to provide the opportunity for every senior in the Baker County to enjoy wellness, longevity, and quality of life choices within a strong, healthy community while remaining in their own home. This means getting people to doctors appointments, delivering meals directly to homes and on-site case management, exercise classes, art classes, crafts, games and more. The list of events and activities is ever growing and changing and is often only limited by the space that their current facility lacks. A proposed new building could make a real difference in our seniors’ communication experience and since we are all growing older every day, we should do everything we can to prepare a solid foundation and future for all generations represented in our hometown and these two facilities do just that!