News Cast for June 5th:

City gets some housing

The city of Okeechobee Technical Review Committee recently gave approval to a 28 unit rental housing project.

Six duplexes and two single family homes could be built on vacant land between NE 3rd and 5th Street and NE 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

Police Chief Donald Hagan voted against the plans.  He’s afraid of dormitory style housing putting a strain on his department.

“It is a dormitory type set up.  That is odd.  I see college dorms set up like this with a common area and restrooms.”

“The chance of having situations, disturbances and this that and the other because you have people of all walks of life that share a common area that can’t get along because someone is not keeping the kitchen clean.”

Hagan said the city has made a mistake with this type of housing.

Public works director David Allen also had concerns about parking on the street

The developer said he plans to construct a quality project that will be affordable.

Okeechobee County Fire Rescue welcomed a new engine to the Treasure Island Fire Station on Friday.

They conducted a traditional push in ceremony for the engine and invited the public.

Public Safety Director Earl Wooten said the push in tradition goes back to the 1700 and 1800s when horses pulled fire and water wagons and were not able to back up the equipment when they returned to the station.

He said the new truck will help with response times, minimize maintenance costs, and limit breakdowns.

Hurricane season began last week and already one named storm appeared in the gulf.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting a normal season.

New Director Michael Brennan said never take the storm season for granted.

“Just because you lived somewhere 30-50 years and never saw flooding or storm surge affect your area does not mean it can’t happy.  You have to prepare and be ready.  This is the time to get ready and have your hurricane plan in place.”

He noted last season was normal too but Florida still had a catastrophic hurricane.

119 people died in Florida from Hurricane Ian last year.

Officials want residents to make plans now.  They are extending tropical weather outlooks from five to seven days to provide additional heads up to residents.

FEMA Director Deanne Criswell said residents must have the information quicker than ever.

“You know you have to be informed.  These storms are developing fast, they are intensifying more rapidly than they ever intensified in the past.  How are you going to get that quick, life saving information.”

The Florida Cabinet overruled a judges decision and allows the rural lifestyle zoning category in Martin County.

Opponents worry it will allow all kinds of development, including commercial in rural areas out to Lake Okeechobee.

Activist Donna Melzer doesn’t want businesses outside Stuart, Jensen Beach, and Indiantown and create urban sprawl.

The county argued the restrictions wanted by activists went too far.

By Taylor