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Starkville planning board OKs Florida Care plans


Tim Pratt



The Starkville planning and zoning commission Tuesday unanimously approved a conditional use request and preliminary plat for Florida Care Properties Inc. to build a new training center at the corner of North Montgomery Street and Womack Road.  


The request and plat now must go before the city''s Board of Aldermen for approval.  


Florida Care offers training in horticulture, light woodworking, laundry, housekeeping, arts and crafts and daily living skills to clients with mental and/or physical disabilities. The company has been located at 1417 Highway 389 since 1993, but has outgrown the facility in recent years.  


Florida Care serves approximately 75 clients per day, but expects the total to increase to about 100 at the new 8,500-square-foot facility when built. The maximum number of employees on any shift varies between 15 and 20. 


The building to the immediate north of the proposed site is called "Angel Gardens" and initially was built for mentally challenged children. Over the years, those same children have reached adulthood and now attend training classes at Florida Care. 


The building to the immediate west of the proposed site is called "Parker House" and is a group home where clients are not necessarily mentally challenged, but are physically handicapped and usually wheelchair-bound. 


Further east is the Rolling Hills facility, which is commonly referred to as a nursing home, but really is an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded. A majority of Florida Care''s clients live at Rolling Hills, while the remainder live in Angel Gardens or Parker House. 


The new location would make transportation to Florida Care much easier for those residents, City Planner Ben Griffith said.  





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