News Cast 3/3

News Cast for March 3rd:

City Council meeting notes

Okeechobee City Council honored police detective James Pickering for 15 years of service to the Okeechobee Police Department.

He has served on the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force and as a general assignment detective for city police.

He is a descendant of former Mayor Henry Hancock.

The council also honored Bobbie Jenkins for five years of service at the City Clerk’s Office.

The council voted to proclaim April as Water Conservation Month and the week of May 16-22 as Water Reuse Week.

The city also approved various street closures downtown for the Speckled Perch Festival.  Downtown streets around Flagler Park will be closed from March 12 at 5 pm until March 14 at 10 pm.

Anthony Smith was introduced as code enforcement officer for the city.

Senate Bill 94 approved by a Senate committee.

The Florida Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to move along a bill that requires more storage of water north of Lake Okeechobee.

The water storage would come in the construction of 80 aquifer storage and recovery wells that will cost an estimated $640 million.

The bill would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to seek authorization from the U.S. Congress to approve the storage projects.

Daniel DeLisi with the South Florida Water Management District explained the bill to the Lake Okeechobee Coalition.  “Storage north of the Lake is one of the most important things that we can do.  Its important to areas south, east, and west.  It benefits everyone to have northern storage so the lake doesn’t rise as quickly and you don’t have to push water out.”

Should airboaters continue to get fuel at airport

The Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners discussed the issue of fuel sales as a way to attract more planes to the airport.

But what about airboats?

For years air boaters have purchased aviation fuel at the airport.  On many occasions it can save them money.

Commissioners discussed the logistics and the legal issues involved.

They have been offering lower fuel prices since they took back management of day to day operations.

County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper said he thinks lower fuel sales are a way to attract more planes and more business, “I think everybody is flying into the airport now to get their fuel.  People from the coast and all over the region are flying over here.  I think the potential is really exciting.”

Chairman Terry Burroughs said he didn’t want airboats on the tarmac.  “Lets not broadcast that were going to have airboats coming out.  That is not one of the things I want on the airport.”

Airport Manager Andrew McBean said here are some legal requirements when the airport sell fuel, including fuel to airboaters.