News from Buckhead Ridge

An information-filled meeting of the Buckhead Ridge Community Association was held on Thursday, April 25, with 55 in attendance. Opening the meeting, Officer Talon Youngblood read the Buckhead Ridge police report. He commended the community on being aware of strange vehicles in the area — seven were reported. Two of the thefts reported, he stated, need not have happened as they happened in unlocked units. Officer Youngblood urged everyone to keep cars and homes locked. He listed a few lesser situations and cautioned that no golf carts or ATVs are allowed on State Road 78.

Guest speakers were Libby Pigman, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) regional representative, and Chuck Hanlon, SFWMD senior environmental scientist. Mr. Hanlon presented slides and comments, which showed efforts to help the growth of grasses that will protect spawning and decrease the nutrient load in the lake. Lake water levels were discussed, and Mr. Hanlon stated that the ideal levels are between 12 and 15.5 feet. He went on to add that there have only been four months, since 2012, when sunlight was able to penetrate water depths enough to let plants grow.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Libby Pigman and Chuck Hanlon from the SFWMD spoke at the Buckhead Ridge Community Association meeting.

Mr. Hanlon also told of the advantages of controlled burns to kill cattails, which quickly take over grass beds. Where this has been done, wading birds can be seen by the thousands and new grass is growing.

Following the SFWMD presentation, Glades County Board Chairman Tim Stanley, who represents the area, urged everyone to get ready for the approaching hurricane season, recommending generators in case of no electricity. The county will not have the resources to come and help everyone’s individual needs, he said. He reported that Bonnie Shop said there are openings for 21 people to receive commodities. If you make less than $16,000 per year, you are eligible. Commodities are distributed the second Friday of every month.

Mr. Stanley reported that the G. Harvey Estates (Glen Harvey’s development) has decided to begin construction with the second phase of the four-phase project because there is still an ongoing non-agreement concerning the Access Road at the beginning of the first-phase location.

Mr. Stanley also reported that the fire tax the county is considering may mean a $25 to $30 increase in annual taxes, but it would provide two paramedics in each Glades County community. They are looking at working with larger counties surrounding Glades for a possible joint venture to provide better fire coverage. Mr. Stanley announced the commission is still looking into the possibility of dredging of area canals.

All Buckhead idge residents are urged to attend these meetings to learn more about what affects your community as well as having a platform to voice your concerns. For information, contact Vickie at 863-634-4106.

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