Governor signs Boys School bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill sponsored by representative Kaylee Tuck to convey the Okeechobee school for boys campus back to the public.

Indian River State College plans to develop a data center project on the property.

South Florida Water Management District will also use part of the property for water quality improvements and storage.

The bill had unanimous support in the legislature.

The school has been closed for close to two years.

The new Seminole hotel and casino project is moving forward.

General Manager Marty Johns gave a presentation to the Okeechobee Chamber of Commerce.

Johns said they really needed to expand the existing casino, built in 1999.

“We are out of room and we are out of parking spaces.  Tribal officials talked about building a new casino because we really need it.  We have customers from Melbourne, Orlando, Miami, and Tampa because we have a little different culture.  We have a different culture and different customer service.”

The new facility includes outdoor and indoor entertainment venues.

Johns said they want to add more entertainers and have performances once per month in the new facility.

The new casino will employ 750 employees.  They currently employ just under 200.

The plans also include a bowling alley, 100 hotel rooms, and two restaurants including a steak house.

The old casino could be used for storage, tribal offices, or recreational uses for Brighton kids.

They expect to open the new casino between December, 2024 and February, 2025.

St. Lucie County Commissioners approved plans for an inland port in the western corridor south of route 70.

The property is located on Range Line Road and along the Florida East Coast Railroad.

It was once a 245 acre citrus grove.  It has been in agriculture production for over 100 years.

Land owner Mike McCarty has this vision for the Rainbow Grove project

“Our vision is to create a multi-use commerce park connecting, state, national and global economies.  We see a need in the industrial market to provide the connectivity and capitalize on the railroad to move commodities, goods, possibly support manufacturing and distribution.”

The Florida East Coast Railroad is one of the main supply lines and points of delivery for Glades vegetable and sugar farms.

The city of Okeechobee Technical Review Committee delayed a month action on the plans for a commerce center on 70 east.

They said the plans need to be refined.

Public Works Director David Allen said they need to clarify right of way on the east side of the project.

The city wants about 50 feet of right of way and would like to extend NE 13th Avenue.  That would keep traffic out of River Run Estates.

16 acres are expected to be developed.  Initial plans included a storage facility and Culvers restaurant.

By Ken