OKEECHOBEE — A feeling of anticipation and excitement lingers in the air surrounding Cattleman Square Park. Each day, community members drive by wondering what new and exciting change they will see today. The park is getting closer and closer to completion as workers prepare to receive the bronze sculptures.
"There is no way this could have been done without the cooperation of so many," said Okeechobee City Administrator Gary Ritter. "We've had community members, businesses, the county, the Altebelo Trust and the Tourist Development Council all contributed in so many ways. If it weren't for the contractors who contributed 'in kind' services, it could not happen. They are helping us save so much money with all the stuff they are doing on their own."
* Mark Brandel – Brandel Construction
"Mark Brandel is the one who is putting this all together," said Ritter. "He is making it happen. What you see out there in the park now in terms of the walkways, in terms of the landscaping, in terms of surveying, the land leveling, the irrigation system, the electric, he is coordinating all of that. I really can't say enough about him. He's doing this on his own. He's not getting paid."
"I can't say enough about our public works department," said Ritter. "They were the ones who cleared the site, did all the demolition, took the sidewalk out and put up the fencing and continue to police the area as the work goes on. They do this in addition to their regular job of maintaining streets, drainage ditches, etc. If they had not taken it on, we would have had to hire someone to do it."
In addition to the community donations and the contractor donations, the city of Okeechobee, the county of Okeechonee, the Altebelo Trust each made contributions of $100,000 toward the project.
"Truly, it has been a community-wide project. Thank you so much to everyone for what you contributed," said Ritter.