What Happened at the Hendry County Board Meeting

The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday, April 24 at the Commission Chamber in LaBelle.

Awards, appearances and presentations
• Proclaiming May 2018 as Older Americans Month, Kristen O’Donnell, Area Agency on Aging in Southwest Florida – The Board of County Commissioners of Hendry County Florida does hereby proclaim May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. We urge every resident to take time during this month to recognize older adults and the people who serve them as vital parts of our community.

• National Public Works Week – The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners designate the week of May 21 – 27, 2018 as National Public Works Week. We urge all our people to join with representatives of the American Public Works Association and government agencies in activities, events and ceremonies designed to pay tribute to our public works professionals, engineers, managers and employees and to recognize the substantial contributions they make to protect our national health, safety, and quality of life.

• National EMS Week – The Board of County Commissioners of Hendry County, Florida declared May 20 to May 26, 2018, as “EMS Week” in Hendry County, Florida and the Board urges all residents to express their appreciation for the people, facilities and technologies that make trustworthy, reliable healthcare possible in our community.

Public Hearings
• CPA18002, Hendry County Board of County Commissioners, Annual Adoption of the Capital Improvement Schedule ( FY 2017-2022) of the Capital Improvements Element – The Board approved the adoption of the Capital Improvement Schedule for FY 2017—2022. The Capital Improvement Schedule can be found here .

• Amendment to Hendry County Code of Ordinance; Chapter 1-14.5, Noise Control, Specifically Section 1-14.5-1, Definitions – Continuance – The Board approved staff’s request for a continuance of the public hearing on the amendments to the Noise Control regulations to May 22, 2018, in order to have more time to work with AIA on how to address noise from on Airglades Airport facilities.

Staff reports
• Consideration of Increasing Amount of County Administrator’s Approval for Emergency Repairs – The Board approved staff’s request to increase the County Administrator approval for emergency repairs to from existing $24,999.99 threshold to $40,000. Recently an emergency repair that was more than $20,000 but less than $40,000 was needed for the jail facility. Quotes were received however the low quote was still over the’ existing $20,000 threshold. Due to the schedule of board meetings being twice per month and certain times of the year being once per month, certain emergency repairs that run over $24,999.99 must wait for BOCC approval before work can be done.

• Health Department Temporary Space Lease with Royal Companies – The Hendry County Health Department was damaged during hurricane Irma resulting in staff being displaced and scattered in available office spaces throughout the County while the Health Department building is repaired. Royals Company has offered a space allowing staff to work under one roof with a year lease. The Board approved the lease with a review after 6 months.

• Helms Road Extension – Traffic Signals, Phase IIIa & IIIb, Shane Parker, Public Works Director – The Board agreed Agree to the two conditions requested by FDOT regarding the installation of traffic signals at the intersections of Helms Road Extension with SR29 and SR80 which are: 1) The signals will be in continuous flashing mode until traffic counts warrant the signal(s) to be in operational mode. 2) Actual traffic counts will be conducted by the County’s consultant or FDOT. And 3) the BOCC will support and acknowledge that the traffic signals will remain in flash mode and will not become operational until actual traffic counts warrant the conversion to operational mode. Helms Road is expected to open to the public by September 2018.

Business by district
• Commissioner Byrd is looking to piggy-back off of the City of Clewiston’s ordinance on golf carts so that there is consistency throughout the area. Commissioner Turner would like to see the ordinance implemented in his district as well. Commissioner Byrd also reminded everyone that the Brown Sugar Festival will take place on Saturday, May 5 in Harlem.

• Commissioner Harris would like to see sidewalks on both sides of State Road 29 south as well as on Cowboy Way from Alice Street to State Road 80. Commissioner Harris is also concerned about the creeks and ditches being cleaned of debris before the rainy season begins. Commissioner Harris also mentioned the Hendry-Glades Unmet Needs Coalition which serves residents of the area who are still suffering from hurricane related damages. For more information on the coalition, please call (561)516-2103 or send an email to hgunc133@gmail.com .

• Commissioner Turner expressed his desire to see mentorship programs in Hendry County for the area youth. Turner mentioned that the last joint meeting with Glades County was encouraging and he looks forward to continuing the discussion at the June 12 meeting. Commissioner Turner requested tractor crossing and equestrian riding area signs in Pioneer. Turner also discussed the desire to engage the community in a way that encourages citizens to not only be code compliant with their properties but to have a common goal of community improvements and community pride. Staff is currently having these discussions on community improvements and is looking to roll out plans beginning in mid-late summer of 2018.

Emily Hunter is the Community, Media & Tourism Coordinator Hendry County Board of County Commissioners.

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