News Cast 9/26

News Cast for September 26th:

Governor takes action

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared an emergency for all 67 counties as hurricane Ian continues to track toward Florida

FEMA announced it is making funds available to Florida including Okeechobee and Glades County to pay for impacts from the storm.

Most of Okeechobee is not currently in the cone of uncertainty.

Water Management will close locks on Lake Okeechobee tomorrow night at 6 pm.

Fish and wildlife is urging boaters to secure their boats as the storm impacts the state.

Highlands County declared a state of emergency.  They expect heavy rains and have a 15 percent chance of flash floods.

The Kissimmee River is also expected to be high.

It’s expected to take another 18 months for Big Cedar Lodge to get the permits they need to build their resort at Okee Tantie from the US Army Corps of Engineers.

County commissioner David Hazellief said the costs of sewer for this project and Buckhead Ridge should also receive funding from Glades County in the form of state grants that now go to Moore Haven.

County Parks and Recreation Director Denise Whitehead said they have received a $425,000 grant for the pump track in Kiwanis Park.

It is a 50-50 match.  The Altobello Family Trust has committed $250,000 for this project.

Belle Glade city commissioners will have to meet again tonight to pass a budget and extend the contract of City Manager Dr. Robert Reese.

They deadlocked 2-2 in both votes last week.

Michael Martin was absent and could break the tie.

Commissioner Mary Ross Wilkerson she would like the budget to focus more on inner city parks.

She said the city can build a pickle ball park and spend $300,000 on parks at the lake but can’t spend enough to replace toilets in the city parks.

Unemployment rates remain high in the Glades with 24 percent out of work in Pahokee, 13 percent in Belle Glade and 11 percent in South bay.

Manager Reese said the city recently rejected a bid for someone to lease the marina restaurant as the applicant was not deemed qualified.

NAPA announced plans to put a regional warehouse in Belle Glade and to replace their existing store.