News Cast 7/12

News Cast for July 12th:

Housing project turned down by city

The Okeechobee city council turned down the Glenwood Village project that proposed to develop two city blocks around 309 NE 4th Street.

The project could have developed 40 townhouse and apartments on two acres of vacant property.

Council said the land is zoned commercial and near 441 and needs to remain commercial.

Councilmember Robert Jarriel predicts the developer can find another location in the city.

“They will.  We voted on something like this not long ago and voted it down.  We set a precedent for it.”

Mayor Dowling Watford said the city wants to keep the first two blocks east or west of route 70 and 441 remain commercial.

“It was a good project but the council just felt like that area should be commercial.  It wasn’t the right place for it.”

Raulerson excited to see new medical offices

Raulerson Hospital reports the construction of a new medical office building is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

They plan to invest close to $12 million dollars in this project.

CEO Brian Melear said this facility will help with doctor recruitment.

“We have been blessed for years to have really great physicians.  We also had a lot of diversity in our physicians in regard to their specialties in primary care.  We need to continue to recruit.”

Melear said the hospital continues to enjoy a great working relationship with Okeechobee as they work on health care related issues.

“We are thrilled with the support that we get from the community.  We need that support and we will continue to work to earn that support.”

Melear said the hospital has 250 parking spaces at the northeast corner of the campus and don’t expect the new construction to hurt the parking situation.

Indiantown lobbies to keep school bus bar

The Indiantown Village Council sent a letter to the Martin County School Board that urged them to keep the school bus barn in Indiantown.

Village Officials said if an emergency requires a school evacuation, students might have to wait up to 30 minutes for school buses to arrive.

Councilmember Susan Gibbs Thomas said that would be unacceptable.

“It is Just an overwhelming urgency for Indiantown to have the buses out here.  I’m very aware of it.  I work at one of the school sites.  I have been at school where there are issues where students have to be evacuated.  It took longer than it should have.  It is a vital issue for our students and our community.”

The school board meets Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm. Two community cleanups are planned at the YMCA in Indiantown on Saturday, July 17, and in Booker Park on Saturday, July 31.