Hendry County BOCC gets good audit, applying for Promise Zone

At the January 26 county commission meeting, commissioners learned that the county got a clean audit for 2014, according to Director of Finance Jennifer Davis. Actually, it was slightly under budget, she told the commissioners. The first quarter of fiscal year 2015-16 also shows the county in good shape financially, she told the board.

Public hearing
The board unanimously approved changing the district boundary from residential medium density mobile home to high intensity commercial for a three-acre parcel on SR 80 near the new Walmart construction. Located in the SR 80 Overlay area, the new zoning is in keeping with the coming character of the area.

Owner Glenn Schofield said he has no real plan for the parcel at this time, but understands that eventually he will have to appropriately buffer and landscape the parcel.
Rural Promise Zone
The board passed a resolution supporting the South West Florida Regional Planning Agency (SWFRPC) to apply for Rural Promise Zone Designation. Acceptance would provide federal investment, technical assistance for strategic planning, federal staff to implement goals, AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers. This will be second attempt by the SWFRPC to apply for funding. If approved, the designation would include Hendry, Glades and Collier counties.

Janet Papinaw Director of Budget and Grants walked the board through the county’s on-going grant funding. Currently, the county has 29 grants totalling $45,081,795. They include a COPS grants for five School Resource Officers, which will end September 30 of this year. After that, their salaries will have to be absorbed by the county. That will be approximately $300.000 per year.

There is also a COPS grant for two community policing officers which continues till August 31,2018.

Other ongoing grantsare to renovate the Old Courthouse, Emergency Management, State Heartland Security and more.

In other business:
The board agreed to hold a workshop where they could set up plans for projects over the next two years. The board is also to do a road bond analysis at that time.

The commission will also be working on setting five priorities for 2016-18.

Only a couple residents took advantage of the county’s cold weather shelters in the recent cold snap.

Patty Brant, can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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