News Cast 11/30

News Cast for November 30th:

The My Safe Florida Home Program is now open and accepting applications for free hurricane home inspections. Owners of any site-built, single-family residential Florida property may apply for a free home hurricane inspection. The owner will receive an inspection report and recommended improvements. Eligible applicants may then apply for program grant money for home strengthening improvements.

For more information about eligible activities and grant applicants, please visit the website at Homeowners can register using the My Safe Florida Home Participant Portal.

Tree lighting attracts crowd

The City of Okeechobee and the community welcomed in the Holiday Season Tuesday night.

The annual lighting ceremony included a visit from Santa Claus, refreshments, and Christmas carols sung by the South Elementary Chorus along with high school students.

Music Teacher Ryan Reister said several age groups took part this year.

“This is fourth and fifth grade with some high school kids.  It is definitely a blast.  Our school was not able to participate in the past two years so it is definitely cool to be here and participate today.”

He said the kids loved taking part in the performance and that they will have a life long memory/

“I remember the fifth grade and performing.  I stood right where they were at.  I think this will be a life-long memory that they will cherish forever.”

The Okeechobee Board of County Commissioners went forward with land development regulation amendments that ban bio char facilities.

The planning board had held a public hearing on the issue and recommended no changes to the current regulations.

Chairman Joey Hoover said he could see these facilities placed near the landfill.

County planner Bill Royce explained this would mean no bio char facilities.

Biochar is a charcoal like substance that is made by burning organic material from agriculture and forestry wastes.  Supporters claim it will reduce contamination and safely store carbon.

Commissioners turned down a project on 710 near Hilo Acres after residents complained about possible truck traffic, noise, water quality issues and odors from the facility.

The commission also moved ahead with more restrictions on new gun ranges in the county.

This would include a two mile ban for new ranges near barns, residences and commercial structures.

Planning Board member Adam Cohen was opposed to the changes.

“This is just strange.  This is a county that two years ago gave itself the moniker that we are a second amendment county.”

Mosquitoes in Okeechobee are targeted this week by sprayers with Clarke Environmental.

The crews will be going down 180 miles of county road, rights of way, ditches and swales trying to minimize the pests.

They’ll be spraying in southwest neighborhoods and areas north of town.

They advise you can also prevent the spread of mosquitoes by eliminating standing water on your property where possible.

Improvements at Veterans Memorial Park are ongoing.

Greg Maynard donated his time to sand blast the two field artillery pieces.

He also plans to paint the tank.

Meanwhile the city is working on a plan to improve the park with things like covered seating and an overall cleanup.

Maynard said many in the community are very protective of the park and serving our local veterans.

“Some of the guys are very prideful.  I was cleaning the helicopter after some vandalism and I got a lot of calls because they saw someone inside the helicopter.”

He expects to be done with his part of the work in December.

He has already received donations from the Florida Board of Realtors, the Friends of Army Aviation, and the Buckhead Ridge Homeowner’s Association.

The city of Moore Haven was urged to take better care of the ball fields.

The city has been waiting on the school system to decide what their plans are for the field.

A number of Glades Youth Athletic Association members claim they are frustrated by the condition of the field and the restrooms.

The council selected Wayne Browning as the new mayor.

The city will take some kind of revenue hit when the county detention center closes at the end of the month.  They serve it with electric, water and sewer.

The city received $934,000 from the state to improve drainage along the Caloosahatchee River.

They also introduced Brad Simmons as the new public works director.

The city council, Glades County School Board and the Glades County Board of County Commissioners plan a workshop meeting on January 9, 2023.

Christmas on the Caloosahatchee will be celebrated on December 15th.

The courts also awarded the city close to $6,000 to settle the code enforcement case against the owners of the former Moore Haven restaurant.