Clewiston FYI

CLEWISTON — Community Development Director Travis Reese reports:
• Members of Clewiston FD and Lehigh FD teamed up for some technical vehicle rescue training in Clewiston last weekend.
• Director Reese met with Colonel Andrew Kelly, commander of the Jacksonville district, and Gary Russ, Chief of SR Operations, USACE, for a coordination meeting between local government agencies and the Corps of Engineers. These meetings help agencies better understand how to work with each other during emergency operations and understand each other’s role in protecting the public when tropical storm force winds affect Lake Okeechobee. Information shared by USACE and National Weather Service is used by city and county emergency managers to formulate emergency response plans for our communities.

Code Enforcement Officer Debbie McNeil reports:
March 7 – March 13
• Code cases opened: 12;
• Case re-inspections: 29;
• Notice of violations: 4;
• Notice of hearings: 5;
• Code cases resolved: 20;
• Code lien search requests completed: 5;
• Rental Inspections Completed: 6.
Call to Action
We are asking that everyone take a look into their backyards beyond the fence line…is the rear easement adjoining your property free and clear from overgrown grass and landscape?
City of Clewiston Ordinance — Section 102-118 Landscape Maintenance
• It shall be the responsibility of all property owners to maintain grass and landscaping which exists in street right-of-way swales and easements adjoining their properties. Grass in such areas shall not be allowed to exceed eight inches in height.
• Grass and landscaping which exist near or around sidewalk areas shall be maintained by adjoining property owners. Sidewalks shall be kept free of grass and weeds and shall be cleaned of sand, dirt and trash.

Library Director Natasha Hayes reports:
• It is with a heavy heart we announce that Florida B. Thomas passed away on March 11. Services were held Sunday, March 24 at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 901 Della Tobias Ave. in Clewiston.
• Last Saturday’s annual Friends of the Clewiston Library Raffle and Book Sale was a huge success. This year the library was also the location for the Sweet Taste Contest and Sugar Shoppe. With over 1,674 people stopping in, the library was a hopping place. We thank Everglades Federal Credit Union, the Royals Company, and a private community member for their generous donations to the library this year.
• A special thank you goes out to Kristine Petersen, Clewiston High School and the students in the Public Safety Academy for their hard work during the Sugar Festival. These students showed up early, assisted the Friends of the Library with organization of the books and raffle items, as well as assisted with other various tasks throughout the day. Students deserving of recognition are: Shequan Horace, Juliana Diaz, Chony Diaz, Lovadis Dominguez and Juan Vera.
• The library has upgraded its operating platform, Userful, which was required by the end of March.
• On Wednesday, the Early Learning Coalition accessed the lab for their weekly preschool registrations. On Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m., a staff member from the Early Learning Coalition is available to assist community members with registering their preschoolers. This is a free event and everyone is welcome.
• At this time 171 patrons have utilized the free tax assistance services provided at the library. Please call and make your appointment for free tax preparation and filing for individuals earning less than $55,000 a year.
• The High School Art Reception was rescheduled and will now be held on April 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Please stop in and see firsthand the amazing artistic skills of our local youth. Mrs. Harn, Clewiston High School Art Teacher, has worked diligently to set up a wonderful evening full of art displays, demonstrations and hands on activities.
• Storytime was held this week for Little Disciples and Rainbow Preschool. The focus this week was “Spring” as children enjoyed stories, math fun with coloring by numbers, as well as time in the computer lab as they prepare for kindergarten next year.
• The library still has openings for free tutoring on Monday evenings for students in first through fifth grades. It is held at the library from 4 to 6 p.m. Please stop in and fill out a registration form for your student. Classes are taught by Florida certified teachers.

Public Works Director Sean Scheffler reports:
• If you have any recreational needs or questions, please drop by City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 863-983-1484.
• Paving Projects: “Notices of Award” have been sent for the Overlay and Hot Spot Paving Projects. Once all documents are executed, the “Notices to Proceed” will be issued.
• Street Division: The last several weeks have been spent prepping for and cleaning up after the festival. Staff spent the rainy Tuesday in the shop building the new signs for Trinidad, Candy Cane and the Tot Lot in the Sports Complex.
• Sports Complex: Ball season is in full swing and staff is keeping all the fields ready for play.
• Facility Maintenance: A plugged drain in the Library was opened. The new roof for the Country Club is scheduled to start any day.
NOTE from Public Works: A special thank you to all for a perfect Sugar Festival. It was bigger and better than ever. Our City staff performed as an example for all other festival support crews to strive to be. Each person worked hard and smoothly like a well-oiled machine. I am proud of how staff performed on Saturday. Thank you for a job well done.

Golf Course Director Robbie Rush reports:
• The CLGA had their annual Ladies Invitational on Feb. 19. They had 80 players compete from all over Florida.
• The CLGA Rally for the Cure took place on Saturday, Feb. 23, and 92 players competed in two different divisions. The CLGA did a great job and raised lots of money for research.
• The Clewiston Sugar Festival activities kicked off with a Glow Ball Night Golf event on Friday, March 1. There were 50 players. Ray Rende, Damien Rende, Cody Rende and Shelby Bryant won the event with a score of 30 for 9 holes.
• The Nicaragua Medical Mission Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 30. Sign-up is in the golf shop.
• The annual Horse Race Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, April 5. For more information, contact the golf shop at 863-983-1448.

Police Chief Aaron Angell reports:
The following is a brief synopsis of activity over the course of the week ending March 15.
• Officers made a total of 8 arrests
• Officers responded to 306 Calls for service (Includes officer-initiated activity)
• We responded to and investigated 11 traffic crashes
• We conducted 72 business and 48 residential security checks
• Average officer response time to calls for service, 00:03:01
The following is a brief synopsis of activity over the course of the past week.
• Officers made a total of five arrests
• Officers responded to 265 calls for service (Includes officer-initiated activity)
• We responded to and investigated seven traffic crashes
• We conducted 78 business and 52 residential security checks
• Average officer response time to calls for service, 00:01:51
• On March 14, the Clewiston Police Department hosted our second Cops and Bobbers event. We would like to extend a special thank you to the officers who put in countless hours planning and organizing the event as well as the Clewiston Golf Course for hosting us and those local businesses who donated to help make the event a success: Wal-Mart, Roland Martin Marina and Resort, and Busy Bee Party Rentals.
• We would like to congratulate the Clewiston Sugar Festival Committee for a job well done. This year’s festival seemed to once again be a huge success, and no major incidents were reported to the police department. We would also like to thank all of our public safety partners; The Clewiston Fire Department, The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and the Big Lake Amateur Radio Club for their assistance during the festival.

Utilities Director Danny Williams reports:
Electric Crew Activities the week ending March 15.
• Installed banners for Clewiston Sugar Festival;
• Installed two electric outlets at Civic Park;
• Repaired URD service damaged by contractor;
• Repaired underground line to football field sprinkler pump;
• repaired/replaced street light fixtures;
• trimmed vegetation from power lines;
• repaired URD box on Sugarland Highway for street light service;
• repaired traffic signal at Berner Road and Sugarland Highway.
• Water Sewer Crew Activities the week ending March 15.
Inspection of the manholes and GPS mapping of our sewer collection system continues. USSI crews will be working throughout the service area installing LDL plugs as needed. Other activities reported by our water/sewer department include:
• Repaired three water breaks at the golf course, three inch pipes;
• changed out six water residential meters;
• completed “locates” for project on Senora Avenue;
• repaired 3/4 water line in preparation for Sugar Festival.
Electric Crew Activities the week ending March 22.
• Installed two new power services, Harvest Lane;
• replaced URD primary neutral on Osceola Street;
• replaced fuse cutout on distribution feeder line;
• repaired/replaced street light fixtures;
• removed Sugar Festival signage;
• pulled three new electric lines to commercial transformer.
Water Sewer Crew Activities the week ending March 22.
Inspection of the manholes and GPS mapping of our sewer collection system continues. USSI crews will be working throughout the service area installing LDL plugs as needed. Other activities reported by our water/sewer department include:
• Repaired one water break at East Crescent Street;
• Restored power to lift station on Bayberry Street.
• Please remember to register with CodeRed (Reverse 911). This system allows us to contact you in case of an emergency or with other informational announcements. You may register by clicking on the CodeRed link at the bottom of the City‘s website page www.clewiston-fl.gov. You may update your information at any time through the same link.
• If you are considering replacing your air conditioner or insulation, remember the City offers a rebate program for those items. Most local contractors participate in the program and can give you information. You can also visit our website at www.clewiston-fl.gov or call our office.
• Don’t forget to sign up for your meter based surge protection! Visit our office today.
• Did you know your Customer Service Department offers several bill paying options?
• Online bill pay is available on our website at www.clewiston-fl.gov or www.municipalonlinepayments.com/clewistonfl.
• Autopay is also available; come visit our office and complete an application, choose a payment date (5th, 15th or 25th) and your bill will be deducted from your checking, savings or major credit card account.
• Of course, payment by cash, check, money order or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express) is always welcomed.
Please be aware of utility payment scams: Scam artists are calling utility customers posing as employees of Clewiston Utilities and threatening disconnection of services if payment is not made immediately. Please be aware:
• Clewiston Utilities will NEVER request you to purchase money cards or gift cards to pay your account over the phone.
• Clewiston Utilities will NEVER contact our customers on the weekend and threaten disconnection of services.
• Clewiston Utilities will NEVER speak to our customers in a threatening tone.
If you feel you have been a victim of this scam, please contact Clewiston Utilities to verify the call or the Clewiston Police Department and file a report.

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