CLEWISTON — Whether to have any summer camp amidst the pandemic was a hot topic at the May 26 meeting of the Hendry Board of County Commissioners. At the meeitng, it was also mentioned the school board had not yet confirmed summer plans and the City of Clewiston was awaiting the Hendry BOCC’s decision.
Commissioner Karson Turner moved to give staff the ability to plan and make decisions regarding opening. Commissioner Emma Byrd cautioned that everyone should be conservative about opening summer camps, due to the dangers surrounding COVID-19. The current issue for the YMCA camps has been finding a location. They had not been able to secure a place to hold camp.
Commissioner Byrd was concerned about the summer feeding program as well, and said that she would like staff to make sure that whether summer camp would be open or not, there was a plan to continue to feed the children.
Commissioners agreed that while any summer programs need to be done safely, with precautions in place, there are many people in the community who needed a safe place for their children to go while they are at work throughout the summer.
In other business, commissioners approved bids on five mobile homes for demolition and replacement, and one single family home for rehabilitation for the Hendry County Community Development Block Grant program. These Clewiston projects are at 717 Maryland Ave., 1808 Matthew Loop, 1028 Georgia Ave., 2600 7th Court and 919 Mississippi Ave.. Superior Contracting was approved for this contract.
Commissioner Turner asked whether the E911 funding could be applied to solve an ongoing problem with communications between City of Clewiston Police and the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office. He said that he was concerned about them having to use cellphones instead of their radios during emergencies. It was explained that E911 funding could not be used for that, but that on July 1, applications open for a grant that may help solve this problem for all emergency services communications.
Commissioners considered a petition for a special exception for a horticulture recycling facility on Colding Road, in the southwest corner of Hendry County. The applicants made this request for proper permitting, as the previous managers did not do so. A burn box will be implemented for safety and to minimize problems commonly associated with this type of business. Commissioner Byrd asked how many jobs it would provide for Hendry County. The answer was that employment opportunities would be minimal. The impact on homeowners was discussed and said also to be minimal. Traffic in the Church Road area should not be an issue, according to the report. Commissioners agreed traffic would be the biggest concern to homeowners, due to the location of the facility. The request was approved.
Dr. Jospeh Pepe, officer for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades, called in to report on the current coronavirus situation. He explained recent increases in COVID-19 positive cases have been traced back to the same main outbreaks that include the two nursing homes, a detention facility and a large agricultural employer.
The Hendry BOCC’s regularly scheduled meetings on June 9 and June 23 have been canceled. The board will meet instead on June 16, at 5 p.m., at the John Boy Auditorium, 1200 W.C. Owen Ave., Clewiston.
Members of the public may attend the meeting in person or are invited to watch a livestream of the meeting at facebook.com/hendrycounty and/or participate in the meeting by telephone by calling 877-853-5257 and entering meeting identification number 955 2625 7584#. Members of the board may participate in the meeting by telephone, as well.