The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at the Commission Chamber in LaBelle, Florida.
The BOCC elected Commissioner Mitchell Wills to represent the County as Chairperson of the Board for the upcoming year. Commissioner Emma Byrd will serve as Vice-Chair.
Airglades Airport Joint Participation Agreement (JPA) for a Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study – The Board approved the agreement from Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for a PD&E study at the Airglades Airport in the amount of $1,000,000 which will be funded completely by FDOT so long as it does not exceed the listed dollar amount.
Human Trafficking Presentation, Gina Milone, Human Trafficking Specialist, Abuse, Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (ACT) – Ms. Milone presented to the Board on the topic of human trafficking and the rise of the crime in southwest Florida. Milone educated the Board in order to bring awareness on the possible signs of human trafficking and ways to engage the topic. She asked the Board to help facilitate the conversation between ACT and the Hendry County School Board and encouraged all County employees to participate in trainings to further educate them on the topic of human trafficking.
Goodwheels Operation Updates, Alan Mandel – Goodwheels Director, Alan Mandel, presented to the Board on the current needs of the operation. The Board expressed concerns regarding complaints they have received from constituents regarding Goodwheels service. Mandel stated that these issues had been addressed and he is continuing to work on improving operations and customer service within the organization.
Amendment to Hendry County Code of Ordinance: Chapter 1-10 Health Sanitation, Article III, Lot Clearing, Specifically Section 1-10-41, Enforcement Procedures - At the Board meeting on November 14th, the Board authorized staff to advertise and bring forward an amendment to the County’s Code of Ordinances to shorten the time frame for property owner’s to address mowing violations from 30 days to 15 days. In addition the Board authorized staff to remove the language that would allow the County to recover code enforcement administrative costs. This is due to a 2008 appellate court decision holding that counties may not recover code enforcement administrative costs. The Board adopted the proposed ordinance with the recommended language changes
Elections to Use the Uniform Method of Collection Non-Ad Valorem Special Assessments within the Mosquito Control MSBU – The Board approved a resolution of intent to use the uniform method of collecting non-ad valorem special assessments within the Mosquito Control Municipal Services Benefit Unit (MSBU).
Accept U.S. Department of Justice COPS Hiring Grant aware in the amount of $771,724 and authorize the Grants Coordinator to electronically sign the award document – The Board accepted the award and approved staff to electronically sign the award document. The grant, in the amount of $771,724 with no local match required, will allow the Hendry County Sheriff’s office to hire 4 new police officers to create a task force to combat targeted criminal activities in Hendry County.
Port LaBelle Utility System (PLUS) – Purchase of Radio Read Water Meters, Shane Parker, Public Works Director – The Board waived the formal bidding requirement and authorize staff to proceed with purchasing the replacement meters from Master Meter which is currently running a promotion to upgrade the meter registers from 3G to 4G technology. The promotion gives a discounted rate of $42.00 for each meter register replaced, bringing the price down from $184.00 to $142.00. There are approximately 1,500 meter registers that need to be replaced. The current budget would allow approximately 560 meter registers to be replaced
Election of Commissioners, Mark Lapp, County Attorney – In follow-up to the discussion at the October 10 meeting, this provided an overview of which other counties have single-member districts as a result of a Federal Court order and the process and estimated costs to undertake the first step to change the method of election of County Commissioners from single-member districts to at-large. The Board decided to table this until further financial feasibility analysis can be performed.