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Chiefland, Florida
—  City  —
Location in Levy County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 29°28′54″N 82°51′44″W / 29.48167°N 82.86222°W / 29.48167; -82.86222
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Levy
Area
 - Total 3.9 sq mi (10.1 km2)
 - Land 3.9 sq mi (10.1 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 33 ft (10 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 1,993
 - Density 511/sq mi (197.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 32626, 32644
Area code(s) 352
FIPS code 12-11925[1]
GNIS feature ID 0307630[2]

Chiefland is a city in Levy County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,993 in the 2000 census. and was estimated at 2,095 in 2005. Chiefland calls itself the "Gem of the Suwannee Valley" and was incorporated in 1929.

Contents

History

A village of the Timucua was once located south of the present city and at Manatee Springs. The area's economy was traditionally based on agriculture, primarily farming (corn, watermelons, hay); ranching (cattle, hogs); dairy (milk); timber (pulpwood, lumber, turpentine) and aquaculture (fishing, oystering, crabbing).

Attractions

Manatee Springs State Park is located six miles (10 km) west of town and the crystal-clear water is a first magnitude spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River. The park offers a full slate of activities, including camping. Manatees can be seen in the spring year-round, but especially in late Fall and Winter, where the constant 72°F (23°C) temperature of the spring is much warmer than river water.

Commerce

Chiefland is located in the Northwest corner of the county, where Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties adjoin (known as the Tri-County area). As growth in north Florida increased during the last quarter of the twentieth century, Chiefland became a regional center for shopping. A 202,000 sq ft (18,800 m2) Walmart Supercenter was opened in 1995, and increased traffic along US 19/98 support a variety of national fast food franchises plus Best Western and Holiday Inn Express motels. Georgia-Pacific operated a mill in Chiefland from 1955-1978 which was a large employer. Agriculture is still a major factor in the local economy, but there has been a big shift to a service economy. There are three incarceration facilities in the area: Cross City Correctional Institution & Work Camp; Lancaster Correctional Institution & Work Camp; and Levy Forestry Camp. They provide a total of over 800 jobs.[3]

Progress Energy Florida (PEF) is moving forward with its plan to build two nuclear power plants in southern Levy County costing between $5–7 billion on the east side of U.S. Highway 19, north of Inglis.[4]

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,993 people, 796 households, and 511 families residing in the city. The population density was 196.8/km² (509.5/mi²). There were 931 housing units at an average density of 91.9/km² (238.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.36% White, 34.27% African American, 0.65% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.

There were 796 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 23.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,331, and the median income for a family was $23,750. Males had a median income of $25,000 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,676. About 33.3% of families and 36.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.0% of those under age 18 and 24.4% of those aged 65 or over.

Education

The City of Chiefland has three public schools: Chiefland High, Chiefland Middle, and Chiefland Elementary. The School Board of Levy County controls their operation and also supervises two charter schools: Nature Coast Middle School and Whispering Winds. Other schools under the board's jurisdiction are in the town of Bronson and the city of Williston.

In 2008, Central Florida Community College announced plans for an $8–9 million permanent facility. Construction of the new CFCC Levy Center is to take place on a donated parcel of property, 15.4 acres (62,000 m2), located five miles (8 km) north of Chiefland[5].

Geography

Chiefland is located at 29°28′54″N 82°51′44″W / 29.48167°N 82.86222°W / 29.48167; -82.86222 (29.481801, -82.862097).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 km² (3.9 mi²), all land.

Chiefland is at the junction of US Highways Alternate 27, Route 19, and Route 98. Route 129 was converted into a separate junction in the early 21st Century. It is 30 miles southwest of Gainesville.

Healthcare

The State of Florida has approved a 60-bed hospital in Chiefland to serve the needs of western Levy County, Dixie & Gilchrist Counties. The Tri-County Hospital is expected to cost $35–40 million and Ameris Health Systems is leading the effort. The first drawing of the facility was rendered in March 2008.

Recent Events

Sunstate Federal Credit Union moved to their new location in March, and Mail & More, a shipping store moved into their previous location. A UPS Shipping store is set to come to Chiefland also. The new Suwannee Plaza addition, a 8,000 square feet (740 m2) addition, will house a new Credit Union with three drive through windows, the name is unknown. It will also house a Chinese Restaurant, called China 1, and a new Cato's women's store. The Beef O' Bradys was set to be built next to BBQ Bill's but due to alcohol restrictions the restaurants fate is unknown.

See also

References

External links

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