News Cast 12/29


December 29, 2023

News Cast for December 29th:

The Indiantown Village Council received $700,000 from the state to implement an automated metering system for water and utility customers in the village.

Empire Supply Company will provide the meters.

The village is in the process of finalizing a purchase of the current village hall building.  The sale price was $1.06 million.

Resident Phyllis Brown said it was a good deal for the village.

“We need a home to find, sit and be until we outgrow the building.  Then we can sell it.  Every cost has gone up.  You go to the store and you can’t believe the price of food.  It will be a good home for us and give us a good start.”

Resident Doug Caldwell said the owner purchased it for $8.56 per square foot and are selling it to the village for $121 per square foot.

The village council approved the comprehensive plan amendment for the River Oaks Development.  30 acres will be developed into 176 single family hoes just east of the Indiantown Marina.

A needs assessment for parks and recreation showed residents want more baseball, soccer and youth football fields.  They rated local recreation programs at below average.

The village is looking at a plan for local park improvements.  They include more parking, a soccer field, expended playgrounds, a volleyball court, basketball pavilion, exercise equipment, walking trails, a new maintenance building, rehabilitation of two baseball fields, nature trails, and additional landscaping and picnic tables.

Four hearing were held in Southwest Florida in late 2023 to address the new Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area.

The National Wildlife Service said the proposed area would cover 12 counties west of Lake Okeechobee including Glades, Highlands and Hendry County.  It would also take in the Fisheating Creek and Caloosahatchee River watersheds.

The proposal identifies 4 million areas the service would pursue for conservation easements.  Another 400,000 acres could be purchased outright if approved by Congress.

One of the main goals is preserving wildlife habitat for the Florida panther and other endangered species.

The Seminole Tribe and Miccosukee tribes are both supporting the effort.

The Okeechobee County Value Adjustment Board held just one value and exemption hearing this year.

The owners of the Lake Shoppes on 441 south near Walmart opposed the tax assessment of $950,000 this year.  They countered with a value of $500,000.

Jake Trent with the property appraiser’s office said recent sales of property near this site showed an increase in land values.

“Two properties next door, the old gas station sold for $1.25 million, it is hard to come back and say this is worth $500,000.  We didn’t see that.”

Trent said this is a prime location in Okeechobee.  He noted there is more traffic at this location when compared to other locations on 441 down into Treasure Island.