News Cast 9/15


September 15, 2023

News Cast for September 15th:

City to see more revenue

The Okeechobee City council is nearing the end to the budget process.

They want to focus more on street and sidewalk improvements this year.

The tentative millage rate was set at 6.356 mills.

City administrator Gary Ritter said he wants to get projects done quicker as he enters his third year on the job.

“Unfortunately, we still have some projects that were here before my time and are not done.  I want to get them completed and off the books.”

The council voted to add another $109,000 for street repairs in the proposed budget.

The final hearing is September 25th.

The Lake Okeechobee Coalition decided not to take a side in the dispute over a storm water treatment area in west Okeechobee.

Osceola County Commissioner Ricky Booth was not ready to endorse Okeechobee or water management’s position.

“I don’t disagree with some of the sentiments you have.  I don’t think its appropriate at this time to take action, lets just move forward.”

The group heard a presentation on the LOCAR reservoir in Highlands County.

They have a proposed site along the C-41 A Canal.

Jennifer Leeds with Water Management said this will help Lake Okeechobee.

“It’s primary beneficiary is Lake Okeechobee. This project does a very good job of reducing the high water levels on the lake.  It also returns water to the lake when levels get lows.  We also see fairly decent benefit in reducing high flows and discharges to both the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuary.”

Farmers in the Everglades Agriculture area applauded continued reductions in phosphorus and nutrients that enter the lake.

Jake Foytech is with the Florida Farm Bureau.

“Bonafide farmers south and north of the lake inside and outside of BMAPS are continuing to provide environmental benefits, reduced water and nutrient use and provide wildlife and habitat green space, all the while providing food security and producing our nations safe, abundant and affordable food supply.”

The Indiantown Planning Board approved the Village Market and delicatessen project on Warfield Boulevard.

Residents in nearby Indianwood complained about traffic, more noise, and more lighting at night disrupting their neighborhood.

Resident Elaine LaValle said no one in Indianwood was notified about this project.

“Planners who represent this village should have notified us that this is coming.  Oh your not notified because you don’t live within 300 feet.  That’s the biggest joke, that’s across the street.”

Supporters said it gives residents another gas station and restaurant.

The developers of the Terra Lago development plan to construct a new road into Indianwood with the road leading to a signalized intersection on 710.