Four Lanes in Vernon

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

The mayor isn't the only pending change for the city of Vernon. The state has plans to four-lane the main drag that runs through the town. With all the property on the west side of Highway 79 up for sale in the near future, many fear that there small town will not be the same.

Barret Braxton's family legacy is being pushed aside in the name of progress.

Barret Braxton, a Vernon resident, said, "Six generations of my family's been raised in this house. The state's fixing to take it a away us. They're gonna compensate us for it, but I don't think it's be what we appreciate."

Businesses and homes on the west side of Highway 79 in Vernon know that their days are numbered. The Florida Department of Transportation's four-laning project is overtaking the road frontage.

Many local eateries like the Flabama Deli have announced they'll be serving the last meal in December.

Stephen Hughes, a Vernon resident, said, "The food’s been good here for years and years. People here are really good. They're friendly. They're nice people and I just hate to see the four-lane come through here and take out some heritage that we'll never replace."

And nothing in the city is exempt.

Cheryl Withrow, City Councilwoman, said, "We're gonna lose everything on the west side of town. We'll lose our grocery store. We'll lose our movie rental place. We'll lose City Hall. A lot of places are going and we're trying to prepare as a member of Vernon city council for the future."

For Barret Braxton, who grew up here, it feels like a part of him will leave when the four-lanes comes in.

"They just don't realize what they're going to do to this small town. They're going to destroy it when it comes through here and they take this house and the rest of this property on this side of the road. There won't be a Vernon. Vernon's gone."

The city of Vernon plans to discuss the relocation or new construction of the City Hall at the June 26 city council meeting.

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