News Cast 11/13


November 13, 2023

News Cast for November 13th:

OUA asks for state help

The Okeechobee Utility Authority is still talking about renovations to their existing offices downtown.

They had talked last year of moving the office out of the city but that idea didn’t fly.

They asked the state legislative delegation to help with funding for the restoration.  They also requested funds to expand water service in Basswood, more septic to sewer grants, and help with local sewer projects like the southwest service area going down to route 78.

They also asked the delegation to support a loan request from Glades County and the developers of the Lakefront Estates Project to build a sewage treatment plan to serve Buckhead Ridge and the new development.

“We have a partnership with Glades County a franchise agreement for sewer that we are re-working  They are putting in a new community down there with 1,300 homes and multiple businesses.  We got them to a package plant and not the original septic system.  They really need a sewage treatment plant.  Buckhead Ridge is right next store with 1,600 homes all on septic tanks on canals that go into the lake.”

An interest group, Environmental Working Group, wants the public more educated on the use of pesticides near schools.

They note over 4,000 elementary schools in the country are located within 200 feet of a crop field where pesticides could be used.

Okeechobee Schools on the list include Seminole, North, Everglades and Central Elementary.

The group claims the US congress has taken up legislation to block state and local safeguards that protect children.

US Senator Cory Booker said they need to stop these bills.

“We know everyone of these schools is an example of a vulnerable population that is being put at risk by reckless attempts by congress and chemical companies to pre-empt all state and local pesticide protections.”

He urged people to study the issue and contact their congressmen.

“We do have an urgent need in America to not just feed our nation with healthy food but also feed the world.   It should not be incompatible with the goal of protecting ourselves from awful chemicals that are having very negative effects on our children, the elderly, farm workers and our communities.”

Brightline is planning on a new station to serve the Treasure Coast, as the train brings commuters to Orlando and Miami faster than ever before.

Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jensen Beach and Stuart could all be in the running.

Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith was asked if it will be a tough competition.

“Martin County residents would like to have a station in Martin County.  Where it happens, I don’t think they are overly concerned.  Where it is practical or makes the most sense will be supported.  I think most communities will have a station eventually.  The ability to move laterally north and south on the highways is incredibly compromised in our state.  Anything that provides an alternative to that means of travel will probably help people.”

He predicts St. Lucie, Indian River, and Stuart will likely all have stations eventually.