News Cast 7/27

News Cast for July 27th:

8th Annual Back to School Expo Interview with Leah from Our Village and reps from My Aunt’s House

Conservation efforts continue 

Three ranches in the area could be added to the Florida Forever list in 2023. 

The Department of Environmental Protection Land Acquisition Council will begin a lengthy review of the properties. 

They recommended conservation easements for the CNC Ranch in Okeechobee that measures 3,557 acres, the Goodno Ranch along the Caloosahatchee River in Glades County that covers 1,185 acres, and the Gardner Marsh property in Kenansville that measures close to 6,000. 

Owner of the CNC Ranch Dr. Nicholas Alvarez said the property has many benefits for the environment and wildlife. 

“The entire ranch is a little over 4,000 acres.  The land consists mostly of improved pasture, wetlands and oak hammocks.”   

All of them are cattle ranches. 

The Muck Tavern, being developed by several NFL players from the Glades, could open next month at the Pahokee marina. 

Pahokee city manager Rodney Lucas provided this update to city fathers. 

“We are hoping to get the restaurant ready by the end of the month and opened in mid August.  We have the air conditioning working, some floor work is scheduled, and some other work ongoing.”  

He said they have been busy making repairs at the marina. 

They are also looking at ways to improve mowing services. 

A 19 percent increase in taxable values for Glades County this year. 

At the current tax rate that would bring in an additional $903,000 in ad valorem revenues. 

County Commissioner John Ahern supports lowering the tax rate under 9 mills. 

“I would like to do more.  We need to keep some money in reserve for things coming down the road.  We can’t go to the roll back rate.” 

He suggests using some of the new revenue to beef up fire services. 

Commissioner Chairman Tim Stanley said they don’t plan to hire any new firemen this year despite a new station being built north of LaBelle. 

The county is also considering an 8.5 percent pay hike for employees. 

Manager Marcos Montes De Oca doesn’t expect new revenue from homes in the Buckhead Ridge housing development to come for two to three years. 

Commissioner Donna Storter Long said she supported a pay raise for employees. 

“I’m glad that we are conservative in our spending but we have to keep our people.”