Don Shivers honored for tenure on housing panel

CLEWISTON — The city commissioners gratefully passed a proclamation Monday, April 1, recognizing the 24 1/2 years that Don Shivers served on the Area Housing Commission of Clewiston, LaBelle and Hendry County (AHC) until March 31.

Lake Okeechobee News/Chris Felker
From left, Clewiston Vice Mayor Michael Atkinson applauds Don Shivers along with Mayor Mali Gardner, Commissioner Melanie McGahee and Commissioner Kristine Petersen upon their presentation of the city’s proclamation honoring his nearly 25 years’ service.

Mayor Mali Gardner asked Mr. Shivers to come to the podium with his family while she read the proclamation. “I’d like to recognize Don’s wife, Ann, who’s been so supportive of him for so many years, and their son David, who also has been very supportive. We appreciate the years that the family has given to the community because it’s not only Don serving; Ann has helped every step of the way, and I’m sure that there’s been sacrifices for the family as well because of the amount of time that Don had to take to do what he had done on behalf of the city.”

He was appointed in September 1994 and spent much of his time, the mayor said, as chairman; also that “during Don’s tenure … the number of housing units provided by the AHC increased from 48 units to 167 units countywide.” The declaration expresses the city’s gratitude and appreciation.

“I’ve gotten such great, great personal satisfaction. It’s priceless in those terms,” Mr. Shivers said of his experience on the AHC. “And I just appreciate the city letting me serve in that position for as long as I have. Thank you very much,” he finished. “But I didn’t get anything done myself. There’s three other commissioners that I see sitting here tonight.”

“And we thank them all for their service on the commission as well,” said Ms. Gardner.

The mayor then asked him to say a few more words, adding, “I’d like the public to know the Area Housing Commission helped build and renovate the Greentree East and west projects, and Don, if you’ll just share a little bit about that, the projects on both sides of the county and what’s happening right now with the AHC?”

“Greentree East is 40 duplex units on Lopez and Ventura,” he said. “We bought those and rehabbed them, and then along the lines we put in some landscaping … from some grant money we got from the state. There’s 39 living units and one office, and right now they’re at about 100 percent occupancy.

“And Greentree South, which is in LaBelle, there’s 48 in the first phase, and there’s roughly 78 units I think over there; those are pretty much all filled. We recently have been awarded another $700,000 grant coming through USDA for capital improvements at the Greentree South location, and the last thing we’ve done over here is the 50-unit senior housing with financing through HUD,” Mr. Shivers said.

“We’re pretty close to 100 percent occupied everywhere we are.”

Mayor Gardner finished: “The reason why I wanted Don to mention that is that this is some of the work that goes on behind the scenes on behalf of the city and the county, and it’s work that doesn’t get a rah-rah-rah but it’s important work for the strength of our community, both in LaBelle and in Clewiston. I just wanted to take the time today to acknowledge that and to thank Don for his service.”

Chris Felker can be reached at cfelker@newszap.com.

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