Burroughs re-elected commission chair Coquina workshop postponed; increase in towing fees proposed

OKEECHOBEE — Terry Burroughs was re-elected as chairman of the Okeechobee County Commission at its Dec. 6 meeting during the board’s annual reorganization. Kelly Owens was elected first vice-chair. Brad Goodbread was elected second vice-chair.

In other business:

• The board postponed the workshop meeting with the Coquina Water Control District Board of Supervisors. At the last meeting, the county commissioners had voted to set up a workshop meeting with the Coquina Board for early December. According to the county, due to preconditions established by Coquina Water Control District Board of Supervisors, the rescheduling of a Joint Meeting has been postponed to an undetermined date in the future.

Sheriff Noel Stephen said the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office is averaging about 8 hours a day coverage on the Prairie.

“I will monitor it going forward,” he said.

• The board agreed that once a quarter, as needed, there will be a discussion period designated at 1:30 p.m. during the regular board meeting.

• Jeremy LaRue Total Roadside Service requested a rate increase for maximum rates for recovery, towing, removal and storage of vehicles in Okeechobee County.

He said the rates have not been adjusted since 2004.

Mr. LaRue also asked to change the verbiage regarding payment for wait time.

“If we pull on scene, sometimes FHP has us sitting there for hours waiting,” he explained. He said it is expensive to tie up that equipment.

Commissioner David Hazellief said the fee for wait time for a larger wrecker should be more than that for a smaller piece of equipment, due to the investment the company has in the more expensive piece of equipment.

County Attorney John Cassels advised the administrator work with the wrecker services on an updated schedule of fees to bring back for a vote by the commissioners.

• At the request of Magi Cable of the Okeechobee Historical Society, the commissioners gave permission for the society to put up a Historical Marker at the Basinger Cemetery, if the request is approved by the Florida Heritage Association.

• The commissioners approved the facility licensing agreements for the Okeechobee Historical Society to continue to use and occupy the museum and schoolhouse on U.S. Highway 98, and the Raulerson Log Cabin on Southwest Second Avenue for 10 years with a renewal of five additional periods of five years each. The City of Okeechobee will maintain the landscaping of the Raulerson Log Cabin property.

• Commissioners reviewed the list of surplus equipment compiled by the staff. At the request of Commissioner David Hazellief, a 1999 CAT 322 Trackhoe was pulled from the list.

Commissioner Bryant Culpepper asked if a van on the surplus list could be donated to the Warrior Center to assist veterans who need transportation. The Veterans Services Office provides transportation to the VA Hospital, but veterans sometimes have appointments at other medical facilities, he explained. He added the van could also be used to transport veterans to events such as the Memorial Day services.

A 2008 Ford E250 Van previously used by the Extension Office is on the surplus list due to mileage of more than 100,000 miles, but is in good condition.

The final surplus list will come back for a vote at a future meeting.

• Okeechobee County Commissioners put Berman Road at the top of the list when applying for Small County Outreach Program funding.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment