News Cast for March 28th:

City to work on improving parades

The Okeechobee City Council discussed the rising costs of parades and expressed disappointment in the Speckled Perch Parade this year they said lasted 12 minutes.

It cost around $5,000 for city overtime and efforts to close streets and permit each parade.

They council supported keeping three parades and also to make sure the city has a float or representatives in the parade.

Mayor Dowling Watford said they need to work with Main Street to help make parades a success.

Councilmember Bob Jarriel said he would like the city fire truck to be in parades and the city have some kind of presence.

They also discussed limiting the home coming parade to the high school campus.

The Okeechobee County School Board discussed the salary offered, the length of the contract and whether to require the new school superintendent live in Okeechobee.

The salary offered could be up to $149,000.

The board also wants to do regular evaluations of the new superintendent.

Vice Chair Jill Holcomb would also like to address administrator salaries across the board.

She said they’d like to offer what elected superintendents make.

The Florida School Board Association said a higher salary will result in more qualified applicants.

Holcomb agrees they will get plenty of interest from applicants.

She also wants the board to require the new superintendent live in Okeechobee.

She also supports regular evaluations of the new superintendent.

The city of Fort Pierce publicly thanked Okeechobee County for showing them support in an effort to get a Brightline Train Station.

The county commission submitted a letter of support for the project since it was closer to Okeechobee. They felt the Fort Pierce station would be more of an asset to Okeechobee since it would be more convenient for travelers.

Stuart won the project and the station could be opened sometime in 2026.

Council member Jeremiah Johnson said Fort Pierce needs to move on to bigger and better things and not be discouraged.

Mayor Linda Hudson thanked Okeechobee and the region for supporting their application.