News Cast for June 26th:

We want chickens

Residents asked the Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners to allow more chickens in residential area.

Two residents said they would like access to farm fresh eggs to help their household budgets.

Glenda Hardaker was cited for having hens in Basswood by code enforcement.  She said she had no idea they were not allowed.

She noted she won’t impact neighbors and keeps her property clean.

“I keep them in my yard, I keep them in a pen and they don’t roam the streets.  I keep everything clean.”

The second resident was from Spot in the Sun located east of Okeechobee.

Donald Logue said his property can have one horse and one cow but no chickens.

“A lot of people would like to raise chickens in this county that have smaller properties like mine.”

Rate hikes of five percent for water and sewer being considered this year by the Okeechobee Utility Authority.

They also are considering more exterior fencing to secure OUA properties.

Chairman Tommy Clay supports the move as he noted trespassers can be a problem.

“You have got to fence the ponds because they are like swimming pools.  We have been very fortunate as we haven’t had anyone plundering and stumbling over there.”

Clay also suggests the OUA add onto the maintenance building and hold board meetings there.  That would open the board chambers downtown for more offices.

The OUA also made it clear they will do anything needed to help Bass Pro develop the Big Cedar Lodge and fully expect to have their treatment plant moved on the property.

The board also appointed Melanie Anderson to serve as an alternate member of the board.  She had been the regular member from the former Beachwater area for 30 years.

A concrete plant approved for land on US 98 west of Lorida.

Builders said they are desperate for concrete, sometimes waiting two months for a slab to be poured.

Contractor Michael Damboise said the growth is coming out of Polk County but no concrete is slowing down the growth.

The county commission also ended the burn ban in effect for the past two months.

Commissioner Arlene Tuck said they need to do better because they had the burn ban in affect for way too long.

She said residents were constantly asking her when will it be lifted.  She said it had to go before the commission and a lot of time was wasted.

The county is also continuing discussions adding another ambulance to serve rural and outlying areas east of US 27.

Lauren Butler has been named the 2023 Florida CattleWomen’s Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year.

Butler is the County Extension Director and livestock agent.

She was honored for representing Okeechobee and its agriculture industry with knowledge, passion and pride.

By Taylor