In many ways it was another sunny Wednesday morning in the Town of Hastings. The fields were being worked, the cabbage was getting boxed, the streets were quiet and the basketball court at Al Wilke Park was seeing some use from an impromptu game.
But behind the cluttered desk of the otherwise empty office of town manager Shelby E. Jack, it was a bittersweet day.
Employees trickled in to say farewell and turn in equipment or final reports. In just a few hours she would be in the St. Johns County Administration Building signing documents formally dissolving the town and handing over the keys to the town’s government office and community center on S. Main Street.
In November, 82 percent of Hastings voters cast a ballot to dissolve the town and revoke its charter in the hopes the county’s stewardship would result in lower property taxes, decreased water and wastewater utility rates, and increased service levels.
A months-long transition process culminated Wednesday with Jack’s signature on the relevant paperwork, meaning all of Hastings’s roughly 600 residents now reside in unincorporated St. Johns County.