City Commissioners discuss 5K, controlled burns among other topics at last meeting

The LaBelle City Commissioners discussed Zach’s Friendship House 5K run, controlled burns, The Trading Post, and Florida Power and Light replacing regular street lights with LED lights at the Commission Meeting on February 8.

Consent Agenda
The commission approved the January 2018 vouchers and paid bills 5-0.

The commission approved the minutes from the January 11, 2018 regular Commission Meeting 5-0.

Public Hearings, Resolutions, Ordinances, and Citizens Concerns
Amanda Howard, Race Director for Zac’s Friendship House, requested a temporary road closure on March 10 for the 5K run. It is the first step in the process as they have to ask the Department of Transportation for permission to close the road as well. The commission approved the request 5-0.

A final public hearing was held on proposed ordinance 2018-05 Business and Industrial Property Development Regulations. The commission passed the ordinance 5-0.

City Planner Shellie Johnson conducted the first reading on proposed Ordinance 2018-01 Yeoman’s Ave Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment and proposed Ordinance 2018-02 Yeoman’s Avenue rezone.

Staff Reports
Fire Chief Josh Rimes reported there were 91 calls in January. Construction on the fire department remodel began with the removal of the driveway and parking lot. New sidewalks, a parking lot, and driveway are being put in. The LaBelle Fire Department and the Division of Forestry will be conducting controlled burns in Port LaBelle in known problem areas in order to “mitigate the situation ahead of time.” He said when the controlled burns are finished in Port LaBelle they will “probably head out to Banyan Village area between LaBelle and Pioneer.”

Lieutenant Shawn Reed from The Hendry County Sherriff’s Office reported there were two robberies, one sex crime, four batteries, six business thefts, one residential theft, two criminal mischiefs, and received 9,789 calls for service in January. Three hundred twenty one traffic stops, 137 arrests, 1580 residential checks, 801 business checks, and 441 security checks were made. Calls in District 1 increased fifty four percent from last year.

“The robberies were on Martin Luther King on the way back from the flea market,” said Reed.

City Attorney Derek Rooney reported the need to file a quit claim deed in order to give back a property the city acquired in error. He told the commission about the property at 169 Oklahoma Street.

“The granddaughter is taking control of the property,” said Rooney, “She is going to start cleaning up the property and has told us she will move forward with demolition.”

Rooney also informed the commission about the status of the Trading Post.

“The property owner agreed to allow the city to go onto the property and clean it,” said Rooney, “They are pursuing the tenant to get water service restored.”

Superintendent of Public Works Michael Boyle reported he spoke with Florida Power and Light representative and was told “they are in the process of going through areas and switching out the regular street lights with LED lights.” The LED lights will be dimmer from a distance and really bright up close “like the lights in the parking lot at Walmart.” The switch from the regular street lights to LED lights is not going to cost the city anything, but will save on the monthly power bill in the future.

Finance Director Ron Zimmerly reported the Fire Station Agreement was finalized and requested the commission’s permission for Mayor Dave Lyons to approve the execution. The motion passed 5-0. The commission voted 5-0 for 4 Waters to be in charge of engineering and grant services under the CDBG and 5-0 for Guardian to be Grant Consultants.

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