BELLE GLADE — The Belle Glades city commissioners met Monday, Dec. 21, and disposed of a somewhat light agenda in near-record time. Their meeting lasted well under an hour.
The main items on their docket were five resolutions relating to site plan approvals for new construction in the city:
• Property located at 200 S.W. Avenue B, 224 S.W. Avenue B and 201 S.W. Avenue C will be the site of a new Youth Enrichment Center of 4,707 square feet at the First Haitian Baptist Church of Belle Glade;
• Property located at 333 S.E. Third St. will become the site of a triplex, containing about 3,600 habitable square feet, applied for by William S. Poole of WSP Holding Inc.;
• Property located at 480 S. Main St. and owned by Howell Oil Co. Inc. will become the site of a new O’Reilly Auto Parts Store of about 7,228 square feet;
The commissioners also approved entering into an Interlocal Agreement with the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County relating to two demolitions — that of the portable units at the former Gove Elementary School site, and of the water tower on Northwest Ninth Street. The school site is to be redeveloped for housing, and these demolitions constitute one of the first steps. The city also has sent out an ITB (Invitation to Bid) this month in order to entertain new proposals from developers or civic housing investor groups for what this property will become.
At the end of their brief meeting, the mayor called for remarks from the commissioners, as usual, and Johnny Burroughs Jr. summed up the feelings of many in the Glades in a mini-speech.
“As this is our last meeting for the tough 2020 year that we’ve had,” he started, with Mayor Steve Wilson quietly adding, “Yes,” and then Burroughs continued:
“It’s definitely great that throughout COVID, and in the midst of other financial challenges, our small community was able to still press forward, be able to handle our situation pretty well, for the size of our community when it came to COVID cases; but, even on top of that, for there still to be some growth, stability and development happening in our community! As we spoke about today, there are several different projects just going to be happening in the near future in 2021.
“So kudos to the manager, this team we have here on the commission, as well as the staff and other community partners that we have, that’s been able to push through these hard times to still make sure that something was on the table to help move our community forward.
“So thank you all — thank you ALL! — and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
At the very end of the meeting, the whole commission got up and sang a few bars of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to their listeners, as is their annual tradition. There was no word on whether any talent scouts from the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center were on hand to listen.