News Cast for October 19th:
Construction costs continue to rise on new high school
The Okeechobee School Board said construction inflation has continued to impact the cost of the new Okeechobee High School.
The estimated price tag is now #107 million. The original cost was $82 million but that is three years old.
They are evaluating ways to get more funding with the first being the Florida legislature.
OHS football coach B.J Pryor gave a presentation on $125,000 in new weight equipment that was purchased for the football field house. The board has already completed new flooring, player lockers and coaches showers. They also painted the field house. The next step is new player showers.
Board member Dr. Christine Brennan said she’d like the board to honor staff for years of service at future board meetings.
The school lunch rooms in Okeechobee and across the country and feeling the pinch of a lack of milk cartons due to worker and supply chain issues.
Okeechobee city has several requests for the state legislative delegation this year.
They’d like more funding for septic to sewer, storm water drainage, support for the widening of state road 70 west, and more funding for the conservation of area agriculture and ranches.
Mayor Dowling Watford said the four lane project of route 70 west from Okeechobee to US 27 remains a key issue for the county.
He also urged the delegation to support more funding for the Rural and Family lands protection program.
Okeechobee County Commissioners issued proclamations in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, infant loss awareness month and careers in construction month.
They also want to solve some issues with their live streaming of meetings on the internet.
Commissioner Terry Burroughs said he is fed up with the audio and video issues and will not select the same vendor.
He wants to get the streaming fixed because people enjoy this service.
“It is a disservice to the voters of this community and to our community has a whole because we have a system that doesn’t work efficiently.”
Staff notes the meetings get a lot of views and is an important part of transparency.
Glades County officials said they are optimistic they’ll get help from the state on efforts to bring sewer to Buckhead Ridge and Lakefront Estates.
$15.5 million is being sought by the Okeechobee Utility Authority.
County Attorney Richard Pringle said they are working on a new franchise agreement with the OUA to serve north east Glades County into the future.
The agreement which lapsed in May provided water for Buckhead Ridge. The new one will include sewer service.
Pringle said the developer of Lakefront Estates is very supportive of the effort to get the state grant.