Wednesday, November 28, 2007

At The Glades County Commission Meeting

Millions of $$ Slated To Be Spent In Glades County

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Glades County Commissioners the following were on the agenda:

Florida Department of Transportation liaison Susan King reported on $30,037,241 in projects for Glades County through fiscal year 2012 and 20013 including $6,965,286 for 2008 that will, among other projects see the completion of  county road 720 in Muse from the Bee Branch Bridge west to the Charlotte County line, and paving of shoulders for bike paths on county road 731 Loop in Lakeport, and resurfacing of State Road 29 from north of the Hendry County line to SR 78.  She stated the widening and resurfacing project of State Road 78 eastward from State Road 29 through Ortona was scheduled to begin in July of 2008.

South Florida Water Management Projects

Agnes Ramsey reported that on the  C-43 Water Quality Project, SFWMD   had acquired the Boma property south of Ortona Locks and consideration has been given to the commissioners' concerns; a strip along the riverfront to a depth of 1000 will be utilized for public access to the Caloosahatchee, and frontage on SR 80 on the south end would be future surplus for possible commercial development. 

She noted that Lee County had funded $10 million of the $37 million purchase price.  She stated the first item on their agenda would be to determine how the property would be utilized for water quality management depending on how much funding would be available after the January referendum on ad valorem taxing.

She expected the property to initially be leased back to the current owner who would continue to pay property tax and though she could not give details, assured the commissioners that SFWMD is committed to payment in lieu of taxes.

Commissioners Protest Proposed STA For Water Management

Commissioner Paul Beck provided a map of a proposed Stormwater Treatment Area encompassing 8,000 acres along SR 78 between Harney Pond Canal/CR 721 on the west and Indian Prairie Canal on the east. 

Beck stated that according to Glades County Property records, (not including the recent  Boma property and Paradise Run near the Kissimmee River) SFWMD already has removed 8,474.78 acres from the Glades County tax rolls valued at $61,597,877.  Ad valorem and MSTU taxes at current millage would be almost $733,000 per year, plus school taxes, Commissioner Donna Storter Long says.

He explained that when the Seminole Tribe creates their new casino gambling �destination� complex, this proposed site would be prime real estate for off-reservation commercial development and residential development for "work force" housing which some say an expected future need will be for homes for 5000 employees.

He expressed alarm that SFWMD would be removing such valuable property from the tax rolls for water storage behind a 7 foot embankment less than 1000 feet from State Road 78, some places less than 200 ft.  He moved to have the County Manager to prepare a resolution of protest to this location of an STA and request for prior notification of the board by SFWMD prior to other acquisition considerations.  His motion passed 5-0.

Commission Wants Input About Proposed LaBelle Nature Park

Commissioner Donna Storter Long inquired if the County had received correspondence asking for participation in the committee that the City of LaBelle has appointed to develop plans for their 176 acre park in Glades County along Caloosahatchee River. 

Mr. Taylor stated he had not, but consideration would have to be given to the fact that that property was panther habitat.  Sheriff Whidden stated he had been contacted by City of LaBelle Mayor Paul Puletti concerning provision of law enforcement and interlocal agreement for law enforcement and public safety services.


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