Board approves new airboat ramp

A new airboat ramp at the Alvin Ward Memorial Park in Moore Haven was approved Monday by the Glades County Board of County Commissioners.

A bid of $8,640 was approved with Gene Woods Concrete of Okeechobee to install a 24×80 foot ramp. The concrete pad will be six inches deep. The money will come from the county one cent sales tax fund.

In other actions the board accepted a $300,000 grant from the State Department of Economic Opportunity that can be used for design, permits and bids for the utilities needed for the County Industrial Park. It will pay to connect the park with the entrance to the America’s Gateway Logistic Center and the Love’s Travel Center. In a related item, the Board approved a contract amendment of $198,500 with Aim Engineering to do the work. This will leave a balance of $101,500 in this grant fund that perhaps can be used for other construction costs in the future.

Lakeport citizens can brace themselves for some county road improvements in the near future. Road Superintendent Avant Brown presented a proposal from Asphalt Paving Systems to resurface Jerdik Drive, Mayford Lake and Bay Drive for $127,560. The contractor is currently resurfacing Old Lakeport Road and Mr. Brown explained there would be some savings in mobilization costs because the contractor is already working in the community. Commissioner Paul Beck abstained from this vote.

County Manager Paul Carlisle said the County plans to work with the Florida Association of Counties to try and find solutions to the state requirement of more training time for volunteer firemen and other rural fire department issues.

Other priorities this year include continued receipt of payment in lieu of taxes by the county for state owned lands, and direct payment from the state for county projects they fund. Currently the county is reimbursed by the state after they use local dollars for these improvements.

Mr. Carlisle reported construction of the job training center is ongoing. He estimated it will cost $2.5 million to operate the center over the next five years.

The School Board and BOCC are interested in holding a workshop meeting to discuss the realignment of school board and BOCC districts.

Chairman Tim Stanley suggested the county consider a stipend for county employees should they receive firefighter training and respond to fire calls. He said the county could also consider hiring a consultant and trainer to reestablish volunteer fire departments.

Glades County Emergency Management Director Angela Colegrove earned her professional designation achievement from the International Association of Emergency Managers. She was honored at the meeting with a plaque presented by Chairman Stanley. Ms. Colegrove was ranked 171 out of 9,000 emergency managers in the association.

The Board voted to surplus some Jaws of Life extraction tools. The county will receive $700 as a trade in allowance for this equipment. A new Jaws of Life tool will cost $17,888.

The annual Glades County State Delegation Meeting is scheduled for this Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Glades County Court House.

Special to Glades County Democrat

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