City of Bushnell, Florida

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                   Electric Expansion Info Update Image 05-31-2017

The north side of West Street (County Road 311) will be closed for two weeks starting at 7 a.m. Monday, June 12, as part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) State Road (S.R.) 48 widening project from east of the I-75 ramps to Main Street.

West Street will be closed from the S.R. 48 intersection to West Palm Avenue. In addition, a small section of West Parker Avenue from West Street to the end of the new storm water pond will be closed.

A detour will be in effect, and the route will be as follows:

*   Eastbound and westbound S.R. 48 traffic will be directed to travel north on North York Street and take West Palm Avenue to West Street.
*   Southbound West Street traffic will be directed to travel east on West Palm Avenue and take North York Street to S.R. 48.

The closure is necessary so the contractor, D.A.B. Constructors, Inc., can reconstruct the roadway at S.R. 48 and West Street.

Access to any residences and/or businesses along West Street will be maintained. Please note that this schedule may change due to weather or other unexpected conditions.

Current project information will be posted to the Central Florida FDOT website at: www.cflroads.com

Construction-related questions can be directed to Public Information Coordinator Shemir Wiles at 352- 326-7744 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, please exercise extra caution when driving through construction work zones.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, The City of Bushnell will be holding an Electrical Engineering and Design Services Selection Committee Meeting on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., in the Bushnell Council Chambers located at 117 E. Joe P. Strickland, Jr. Avenue. The purpose of this committee meeting would be to review and select an engineering firm to design the extension, expansion and integration of the City of Bushnell municipal electric system in order to connect with SECO's severed system within the city limits of Bushnell.

All interested citizens are urged to attend.
Christina Dixon
City Clerk

The City of Bushnell is one of Florida's hidden treasures. Its history is rich with fascinating events, some of which played a major role in Florida's history. And Bushnell today seems to have achieved that rare and priceless commodity - balance. Bushnell is a treasure chest laden with interesting people, a concerned local government and a professionally run electric utility.  Incorporated in 1911, its history dates back to 1885, when the changes occurring in Florida were reminiscent of those in the Old West. The Civil War was over, and pioneer towns were springing up across the state. Most of the conflicts with Florida's native Indian tribes had been settled, and people from northern climates were moving south in increasing numbers. Perhaps most importantly, the railroad was laying new tracks in Florida, making the state's central and southern regions much more accessible.

The Railroad and Bushnell

Bushnell is a city shaped by the railroad. Just as train tracks run through the middle of Bushnell today, so its very existence emerged from a railroad station built in the late 19th century. The city is even named in honor of the young chief engineer, John W. Bushnell, who worked for the Florida Railway and Navigation Company survey crew that laid the right-of-way for the railroad from Lake Panasoffkee to Bushnell.
The community of Bushnell officially came into existence with the establishment of the post office on Oct. 28, 1885. Early records show that five or six families resided in the area at that time, with some families having lived there since the area was first settled in 1870. The railroad's extension into the area served as a catalyst for Bushnell's growth. Regular train service began in early 1885, with a depot and passenger shelter built the same year.
Early residents of Bushnell had no way to receive storm warnings. After regular train service was established, six long blasts of the engine whistle told the people stormy weather was coming.
Early Bushnell was a town of sandy, unpaved roads, outdoor privies, no electricity or running water. The railroad was the means for people to travel to other towns. A morning and afternoon train enabled one to travel as far north as Ocala to shop and return the same day.
The city of Bushnell was incorporated on Dec. 14, 1911. The construction of the Sumter County Courthouse in 1913-14 spurred the second expansion and continued growth of Bushnell. It was during this time that the city's first water and electric systems were constructed.
1914, the city of Bushnell had quite a few established businesses - including a grocery store and bank, several churches of different denominations, its own doctor, and a privately owned water system that served the business section and a few residents.  
Bushnell powers up as Electric Utility in 1919

The first electric system was constructed sometime around 1914, according to local records. It was constructed by Holt E. Wey, who later sold the system to the City of Bushnell. On July 18, 1918, Bushnell records show that a $10,000 bond was used for establishing and equipping the lighting system in the city of Bushnell, and connecting the same with the electric grid.  On April 28, 1919, the city of Bushnell purchased the "Bushnell Electric Company" from Holt E. Wey for the sum of $3,000.
At first the only time electric lights were available was between sundown and 11:00 o’clock at night.  The plant was located on the site now occupied by the former Bushnell City Hall on Market Street and contained a diesel-powered generator.  Sometime about 1919, the City of Bushnell connected to the electric grid lines near Camp Grove.

The City of Bushnell held a Special Meeting on Monday, May 15, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., in the Bushnell Council Chambers. The City Council voted to approve Resolution 2017-03. The Resolution approved the exercise of the purchase option to acquire SECO’s Electric Distribution System within the City limits.

Please check the City’s website, www.cityofbushnellfl.com, and your utility bills for future updates on the Bushnell/SECO Electric Purchase.