News from Buckhead Ridge

The association welcomed the first visit of the new Glades County manager, Martin Murphy, to the Jan. 31 meeting of the Buckhead Ridge Community Association; 106 people attended. The new officers were introduced: President Bill Reinert; Vice President Norm Wagner; Treasurer Maria Burrows and returning Secretary Vicki Anderson.

Several speakers provided information, including Glades County sheriff’s officer Dillon Glass, who reported 80 calls during December, with only one arrest. The remaining calls were inquiries from residents and reports of possible criminal actions.

Steve Dobbs, engineer for the proposed Glenn Harvey residential development G. Harvey Estates, south of Buckhead Ridge, told of meetings with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) about permitting and rezoning. The Department of Transportation permitting should be completed by March or April, with construction soon to follow. It was reported that the Okeechobee Utility Authority has a treatment plant proposal for this project.

The development will have 90 homes in the first of four planned phases, which, when completed with have 590 single-family homes in a Planned Unit Development. One hundred foot lots in the first phase will cost as much as $100,000, and 30 of them will be waterfront. It will have a homeowners association. They anticipate sale of the lots will begin once the plat is recorded. Continuing updates will be presented at each meeting of the association — the last Thursday of each month.

Glades County Commissioner Tim Stanley, who represents District 5 including Buckhead Ridge, updated the community on several issues:

• Reservoir report: The final plans for the SFWMD reservoir on State Road 78 establishes a 4-foot deep area beginning 1,000 feet from the highway. It will have recreation areas and stretch from the river to the Indian Prairie Canal. No dates for implementation have been finalized.

• Cleaning canals: Most canals in the community need to be cleaned, but responsibility for doing so depends on findings as to who actually has ownership of them, the county or the SFWMD. There should be a decision on this in a few weeks. In 2010, SFWMD provided $5 million to dredge the five Glades County canals feeding into Lake O. The Pearce and Harney Pond Canals were completed but, during the work on the Moore Haven Canal, the money “dried up.”

• Community Association parking lot: It was explained that 3 percent of our water bills go into an account for street lights, hydrants and paving needs. But with so many paving projects, no money has been allocated for the parking lot improvement.

• Boat dock: The existing boat dock has the funding and will be completed as soon as quotes have been received. The boat ramp has already been repaired.

• Garbage service: Talks are still underway regarding a county-wide program or allowing Buckhead Ridge to institute its own program.

• The county-wide fire tax: Talks are ongoing as to establishing a three-, four-, or five-station plan throughout the county. The League of Cities has offered to help on guidance for this planning.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 3 to 5 p.m., a gathering of United Way services will be held at the Community Center, where the public can learn about the many areas of help available.

Commissioner Stanley reported that AT&T is expected to install service on the Buckhead Ridge cell tower within the year. Residents are urged to call their carriers and request service through our tower.

On Feb. 6, a public meeting about lake levels will be held at Indian River State College from 6 to 8 p.m. On Feb. 19, a meeting on speckled perch management will be conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at the Scott Driver pavilion. On Feb. 27, State Reps. Pigman and Albritton will hold an open meeting, with the time and place to be announced.

For more information, contact Commissioner Stanley at 863-632-9891 or County Commissioner Donna Storter Long at 863-885-1138.

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