News Cast 4/12

News Cast for April 12th:

Okeechobee remains attractive spot for business 

Business and industry is still showing interest in Okeechobee as we come out of the pandemic. 

A trucking company, a property holdings company and a utility company have all expressed an interest in Okeechobee recently. 

Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation Business Manager Kaylee King told County Commissioners that she has had interest from out of town developers. 

“Housing isn’t listed in our strategic plan but we are noticing more and more how much of a need we have for housing in Okeechobee.” 

She also took a tour of the former Dozier School in Jackson County to see what that county has done with the property. 

Okeechobee wants to get back the Okeechobee School for Boys, a sister school of Dozier, to use as a commerce center. 

“Jackson county sought after funds to rehabilitate the site and turn it into a multi-purpose property.  I wanted to go there and talk with them about their plan and strategy.” 

April is Water Conservation month. 

April is also one of the typically driest months in Florida. 

Water management districts urge residents to follow lawn watering limits, and conserve water where they can. 

Shorter showers can help. 

Cindy Rodriguez with the Southwest Florida Water Management District points out bathing uses a lot of water. 

A five minute shower uses 15-20 gallons, and a 10 minute shower 40 gallons.  A bath uses 37 gallons. 

 She points out less than 2 percent of the earth’s water supply is fresh water.  Only half of the freshwater is available for drinking. 

Voters in Glades County might get the chance to vote on whether or not to tax themselves. 

The commission discussed the fire tax again but took no formal action on a ballot question. 

Commissioner Tony Whidden said he would support letting voters decide. 

“I don’t think it will pass based on the phone calls I’ve gotten.  Let the whole county decide.  That is how you spend the people’s money, you ask them what they want.” 

Volunteer firemen Jacob Heflin supports putting the tax on the ballot. 

“I support putting this on the ballot.  There is a cost you have to take as residents.  The western side of the county deserves the same level of service as Moore Haven does.” 

He noted it would take the fire department 20 minutes to reach his home during a fire and by the time fire units arrive the home will be destroyed.