Town of Hastings dissolves at midnight

Potato Capital of Florida to become unincorporated part of St. Johns County

HASTINGS, Fla. – The small town of Hastings, known as the Potato Capital of Florida, will dissolve and become an unincorporated part of St. Johns County at midnight. 

On Wednesday, News4Jax sat down with Town Manager Shelby Jack, who was born and raised in Hastings, about what the ending of the small town means to her. 

"The town of Hastings, albeit small in stature, but we have always been and will continue to be big at heart," Jack said. "We bid the community a farewell, but never a goodbye, as this will always be home."

The grandmother said leaving her post as town manager is bittersweet. But as this chapter comes to a close, she wants the very best for her hometown.

"Time has come that we must move on so we're moving on," said Jack, who will be accepting a position with St. Johns County, hoping to still serve her community. "The end of the day, I just want somebody to tell my grandsons that their Nae Nae tried to make a difference."

The town is dissolving because, in November, 82 percent of Hastings voters decided to revoke the town's charter due to the town's $1 million accumulated debt and the town's high water and waste treatment costs.

"Main thing is, (it's) going to cut my taxes because I won’t be paying city and county. We don’t have any services from the city because were on the outskirts," said Daryll Futch, with Futch's Tractor Depot.

The small farm town, with 644 residents, will no longer be a town at all now, and the people who live there said they think it will be a change for the good. 

"Got a lot of history (that's) been around for long time," Futch said. "Hopefully, the community will stay intact."

The historic Town Hall building, which used to be a high school, will become property of St. Johns County and the county will decide what happens to it. 

The town library next door will remain open.

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Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.