City council votes to ask for new fire contract

OKEECHOBEE — Many items concerning the interlocal fire agreement between the City of Okeechobee and Okeechobee County have been resolved, but there is still a hold up, because the county does not want to open the union contract. According to City Administrator Marcos Montes de Oca, the county will not hire any of the city’s […]

Is an interlocal fire agreement between City of Okeechobee and Okeechobee County legal?

OKEECHOBEE — The possibility of having the city provide its own EMS service was on the agenda at the city council meeting Tuesday night, July 7. City Administrator Marcos Montes de Oca went over the details saying he and Finance Director India Riedel had gone over the figures so many times they practically had them […]

Task force works to save jobs

OKEECHOBEE — Members of the fire merge “task force” have been working diligently to not only come up with an agreement for the county to perform fire services for the city, but also to ensure that city fire fighters are not hurt in the process. At the workshop on Thursday, June 25, they discussed what […]

Fire department merger task force is next step

OKEECHOBEE — Once again, the topic of a fire department merger was on the table at the city council meeting Tuesday night, June 2. The discussion began with an apology from Mayor Dowling Watford, who said he knew it was the city council who had asked for the merger. The county commission did not ask […]

The controversy over putting the fire merge on the ballot may be a misunderstanding

OKEECHOBEE — Hard feelings and confusion abound concerning the subject of putting anything to do with the city fire department on the ballot. At the city council meeting on May 19, Council Woman Monica Clark seemed very certain that the county did not want it put on the ballot. Most of the council members agreed […]

Firefighter attempts to save city fire department

OKEECHOBEE — In what may be a last ditch effort, Okeechobee City firefighter Stevie Weeks has been attempting to rally support in an effort to save the Okeechobee City Fire Department. For months now, the Okeechobee City Council has been considering ways to save money for the city. When the possibility of consolidating the departments […]

Town hall meeting is poorly attended

Whether it was a fear of Coronavirus infected crowds or the fact that the town hall meeting was held on a night when many are in church, something caused an unusually low attendance at the bi-annual meeting Wednesday night, March 11. There were only four commenters, and one of those was the Economic Council of […]

City residents ask: Where will merger end?

OKEECHOBEE — “Consolidation is akin to diabetes,” said Dale Ann Watford at the city council meeting on Feb. 18. “You start cuttin’ a little bit. It starts with your toe. Then it’s your foot. Then it’s your leg. If y’all ain’t careful, this is just my knower (hand gesture over heart) y’all might be out […]

City talks fire merger… again

OKEECHOBEE — Once again, the possible merge of the city and county fire departments was the main topic of conversation at the Okeechobee City Council meeting held on Dec. 17. The council was informed that, according to state statute, they cannot allow the county to take over the fire department and assess taxes without a […]

Outside consultant may be next step in fire merge

OKEECHOBEE — For several months now, the possibility of merging the city fire department with the county has been one of the main topics of conversation at both city council and county commission meetings, and the city council meeting on Dec. 3 was no exception. Councilman Bob Jarriel expressed disappointment with the progress of the […]