News Cast 6/14

News Cast for June 14th:

$24 million worth of work

The Okeechobee Utility Authority reports it is poised to handle growth expected to occur in Okeechobee.

They have about $24 million in capital projects under way.

The OUA also has asked the city and county to provide a stipend for board members.

They’ve had difficulty finding people willing to serve on the OUA Board of Directors.

The city council asked that they be allow to vote on the stipend.

The county also reactivated the committee that reviews the OUA inter-local agreement.

One issue is the requirement of a super majority or four out of five votes to pass items on the OUA agendas.

OUA Board Chairman John Creasman said there is talk of projects.

“There is movement.  They are not knocking the doors down.  We are seeing a lot of discussion right now on different things.  We can’t talk about them because we don’t have contracts but we are seeing movement.”

Indiantown to get a Tractor Supply

The Indiantown Village Council voted unanimously to approve a commercial project on Warfield Blvd.

The 40 acre site would be available for other projects.

The property is located on 710 next to Indianwood.

There was some concern about a possible Indian burial ground on the site.

The Seminole Tribe and historical society were contacted and did not have any knowledge of graves there.

Resident Diane Lewis was opposed to the project for environmental reasons.  She said it would result in a loss of habitat for wildlife.

“I am against the building of a Tractor Supply or any building of retail stores.  We want to keep this as a rural village not a West Palm Beach or a Stuart.”

Drugs found during traffic stop in Lakeport

A 48 year old Port St. Lucie man was held on $46,000 bond at the Glades County jail after a traffic stop allegedly turned up drugs.

Glades County deputies say Gordon Clark possessed pills of oxycodone and morphine.

He was charged with drug trafficking of over seven grams of oxycodone and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The traffic stop was due to a vehicle having a headlight out and was near the intersection of State Road 78 and Roberson Drive.

Okeechobee city police investigate sexual battery complaint

Ben Wilcox, 36, of Gainesville arrested in Okeechobee on sexual battery of a child charges.

The victim claims she was touched inappropriately when she was 15 or 16 years old.

She told investigators the incident occurred two years ago.

Chamber holds anniversary celebration

The Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday.

Former board member Bobby Keefe said he was thrilled to take part.

“This was absolutely fabulous.  I was super excited for this milestone for the Chamber.  As a chamber member I just love how they enhanced my business and allowed the business to grow.  It’s a phenomenal organization.  Just proud of what they have done over the past 10 years.”

The first executive director of the new chamber Terry Burroughs looked back at the efforts to revive the chamber after the original chamber ran into tax problems with the IRS.

Burroughs said the chamber continues to strive to add members.

He noted during the pandemic it has been tough for some small businesses to afford their chamber dues.