News Cast 10/25

News Cast for October 25th:

Condo project approved 

The City of Okeechobee  Technical Review Board approved permits for a new condo project at 116 SE 8th Avenue. 

Two entrances were required to accommodate emergency vehicles. 

City Planner Ben Smith said the project has plenty of parking. 

“They have 12 town homes.  They have a request to join the two parcels that is almost finalized.  In front of each town home is a long parking space.  There are 12 guest parking spaces.” 

The concerns included traffic congestion near North Shore Plaza and route 70 east. 

The committee opted to require two entrances to the project. 

They also wanted to make sure there was ample room for emergency vehicles to get in and out of the property. 

Deputies said victim did not let investigation die 

A Basinger man went extra lengths to solve a vehicle burglary. 

He struggled with one of the suspects when he spotted him near his parked vehicle in the early morning hours of June 9th

He then chased after the suspects vehicle trying to catch them. 

The suspects dashed through a yard on NW 144th Street to make their getaway. 

Deputies did make an arrest last week in the case of Michael Edwards, 19. 

He faces a charge of vehicle burglary. 

Deputies said they also have other suspects in mind. 

The victim located a vehicle that matched the description of the getaway vehicle at a local convenience store, threatened the occupant with death if they returned to his neighborhood, and wrote down his license tag. 

He was also able to give a detailed description of the suspect. 

Agriculture must now comply with best management practices. 

It is no longer voluntary. 

They can expect more onsite visits from the Florida Department of agriculture and enforcement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

A list of 2,700 agriculture properties in the state not compliant was contacted over the past few months. 

62 percent of them are now in compliance. 

If not in compliance ranchers and growers could face $50,000 fines and another $15,000 per day in fines. 

South Florida Water Management District Governing Board member Charlotte Roman said she wants to know if best management practices are working. 

“The goal is compliance as compared to the hammer.  At a certain point if you have a landowner that is causing pollution at the expense of everyone else in the watershed, how long do you give them to get into compliance?” 

Agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried has made a commitment to water quality. 

She noted the best management practices haven’t been updated in more than 10 years. 

“I came into office to further clean water initiatives.  We are rewriting the rules for agriculture water policy.  We will increase accountability, transparency and coordination.” 

Chris Petit with the Water Management District sees several projects happening north of the lake that will make a difference when it comes to nutrients. 

Airport change mulled 

The Belle Glade City Council was urged to consider changing their airport from a municipal airport to an executive airport. 

The city commission could hold a workshop to chart out the future. 

Armon Colson with CFJ consultants said an executive airport would raise the profile of Belle Glade. 

He said it would also help bring more college recruiters to look at Glades athletes. 

“What college recruiters and coaches do when they travel is they want to go directly to the location and meet within the cities.  They want to stay in the location.  They all have executive airplanes.  The idea of them flying into Belle Glade to meet with anyone would give people the idea what is happening in Belle Glade?  You have to have the facility for them to come in.” 

The city has been able to receive numerous grants from the Florida Department of Transportation to upgrade the airport. 

One current project is a new taxiway.  In the future they expect to develop new hangars at the airport.