News Cast 2/21

News Cast for February 21st:

Okeedokee  LLC gets their project

The idea of an industrial park at 5800 highway 710 still was not popular among neighbors.

The long debated 99 acre project was approved for heavy industrial by county commissioners.

It had been zoned agriculture.

The developer plans to break up the property into several parcels and take advantage of the CSX railroad.

Residents remain concerned about industrial uses, the noise and odors, and truck traffic.

County Commissioner Kelly Owens voted against the project.  She noted 710 is already dangerous enough.

“I see the traffic increasing on route 710 already, I see the accidents occurring more frequently, and I don’t think this project is going to help that situation.”

Resident Harry Bowd told commissioners he’s worried SE 59th Boulevard will continuously cut off by trains.

“What happens to someone in Hilo Acres, they are dying, and they need an ambulance to get it or get out, and in some way or another this industrial park blocks SE 59th Blvd.  If somebody dies, the lawsuits will start.  This was never, ever a good idea.”

Th Okeechobee City Council is due to discuss tax abatements tonight.

A developer is interested in affordable housing in the city.

He wants to turn 50 acres located on SW9th Avenue and create a 190 unit apartment complex.

Councilmember Bob Jarriel said housing is needed in the city.

“I know the city could use that money in a lot of places with a lot of the infrastructure.  Secondly, we would have the housing, once it goes away.”

The city also approved a special exemption for a cell phone tower on NW 9th Street on property owned by CSX.

Two telecommunication companies are fighting over the tower and could bring the issue to court.

The council also honored OHS seniors Jenna Larson and Sorrell Panaro for earning scholarships at the School Florida Fair in West Palm Beach.

Improvements planned on state road 710 at Tommy Clements Blvd. will be the subject of a public meeting at the Indiantown library tonight.

The Metropolitan planning organization in Martin county will be urging the state to four lane all of 710 from the Florida Power and Light plant to Okeechobee County when they meet on February 27.

The Indiantown Village Council agreed to hold a workshop on March 4th to consider a search for a permanent village manager.

Councilmember Angelina Perez expressed disappointment at the conduct of her colleagues in recent meetings.

“I feel like we need to respect each other, respect our fellow council members and staff.  We have to respect staff time.  Most of our staff have to travel after our meetings and it gets late for them.”

Councilmember Janet Hernandez said the majority on the council wants to delay the search for a permanent manager.

“I think we have been talking about this for this meeting, the last meeting, and the next meeting.  We are just holding it off.”

A 26-year-old Okeechobee man was killed Monday afternoon in Pahokee.

The crash involving a BMW sedan and a tractor trailer occurred in the 16,000 block of 441.

Palm Beach deputies identified the victim as Austin McGlamory of Okeechobee.

The crash report said the 4 pm accident occurred when the BMX drifted over into the south bound lane, the truck driver applied the brakes and the trailer began to slide southbound and jackknife.