News Cast 4/14

News Cast for April 14th:

Committee considers housing plan

Affordable housing is getting more and more scarce in Okeechobee.

The county created the affordable housing committee and they have discussed the impacts of Senate Bill 102 signed by the governor.

It provides incentives and tax breaks for private investment in affordable housing.

More funding and tax credits will be made available in the Ship program.

They also will try and use struggling commercial brick and mortar malls and plazas and convert them into housing across the state.

Governor Ron DeSantis advocates using vacant commercial space.

“You have difference commercial areas in the state.  There is nothing saying you can’t put apartments on top of some of these businesses, they do that in certain areas, and it is an option.”

County planner Bill Royce said housing is a need for our community.

“Some of our professions, new teachers, firefighters, people that have full time jobs and are working, still can’t afford some of this stuff when they are starting out.”

The committee also said rising rents have made things unaffordable for some Okeechobee residents to live here.

The Treasure Coast counties have also been discussing the issue.  They plan to hold a meeting in Okeechobee in June.

The G-36 Boat Lock, also known as the Henry Creek Boat Lock, in Okeechobee County will temporarily close for maintenance starting Monday, April 17.

It is expected to re-open on Monday, May 15. All other navigational locks maintained by the South Florida Water Management District remain operational.  

Colorado State experts predict a slightly below average hurricane season in 2023.

They predict 13 tropical storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

The typical season is 14 tropical storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Local lawmen said they are ready if the growing trend of street racing and intersection take overs make its way to rural Florida.

Urban agencies are dealing with it on a constant basis.

The groups plan to meet up on weekends and race on streets at 1 and 2 in the morning.

Events have come as close as Jupiter Farms, Lehigh Acres and Fort Pierce.

Six organizers have been arrested in South Florida for arranging these events since December.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Toney talks about what lawmen are seeing out there.

“Drag racing on public streets, you are seeing drifting where individuals are driving at excessive miles per hour and accelerating their vehicles to top speeds.  They are doing burnouts and donuts in the roadway.  None of these things are legal.  They all will result in someone hurt, harmed, and killed.  It makes no sense for us to stand idly by and let this happen from a public safety standpoint.”

Lee County arrested several after an elderly Lehigh Acres couple was shot when they interrupted one of these intersection takeover events.

Racers want the counties to use tax payer funds to construct tracks so they can race safely.