Clewiston FYI

Posted 3/8/24

Clewiston FYI report dated Feb. 20

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Clewiston FYI


Clewiston FYI report dated Feb. 20

Dates to Remember
March 18, 2024 – City Commission Meeting
March 21, 2024 – Golf Course Advisory Board Meeting
March 21, 2024 – Parks, Recreation & Leisure Services Board

Office of the City Manager

Citizens, business owners & other interested parties:

As the tourism season in the new year following the holiday period ramps up, Clewiston is blessed to have a significant amount of tourism related activities planned or underway. Whether it is enjoyed by our Canadian visitors or other snow birders, or visitors participating in the flurry of fishing tournaments already held or planned for the 2024 season, or the attendees of the various seasonal community events that are hosted in the Glades area communities for the enjoyment of locals and visitors, there is quite a lot of activities to participate in this time of year.

We should remind ourselves that how we are all blessed with a quality of life in this South Florida area that is difficult to beat from year to year. The City of Clewiston supports these efforts to varying degrees throughout the year, but especially during the season.

Of particular note this year has been how the community and visitors have adapted quite smoothly to finally having the long period of major construction activity winding down at one of our most iconic tourism locations: our community’s lone access area to Lake Okeechobee. With the completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) huge dike rehabilitation project last year and the City’s long anticipated more recent opening of the new elevated C-21 bridge access to the Herbert Hoover Dike recreation area, the lakefront access is much improved after years of varying degrees of limited access. Once the City and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) representatives complete the last of remaining transition items to the canal crossing location and access area in the period ahead, the public access will be even more welcoming with enhanced safety features and improved utility and convenience being a significant result of the long multi-agency combined effort.

SFWMD is currently planning the removal of the former at grade S-169 structures at the location while the City in the nearer term will be completing additional enhancements to the access area resulting from and necessary because of the access crossing relocation. Please have continued patience as these remaining items are undertaken with only minimum disruption or inconveniences for Lake O visitors expected.

If you have observations or feedback on the bridge or generally related to the access features, please share with the City.

In closing, the city desires to continue its journey toward its goal of providing the best possible public services to the Clewiston community. In advance, city officials appreciate the many partners and community support received.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in the City of Clewiston,

Randy Martin

Staff Reports

Recreation & Leisure Services Director Lauren McGinnis reports:

The month of January was a great start to this year! We have been working to get some fun and exciting things ready for the whole family to enjoy, so keep an eye out for those announcements. We have also been working on our partnerships with the Police Department and with The Center for Progress and Excellence.

The Youth Center is open daily for students to enjoy! The hours of operation for students to enjoy our building are 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday. We invite all of our youth to come and enjoy all of the board games, books, xbox game systems, and 3D printers at the Youth Center every day after school.

Our 3D printer runs each Thursday. If you would like to be a part of our 3D print club and/or volunteer for the club please call us to find out how. We are always looking for volunteers to help with our clubs and activities here at the Youth Center. If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering please call us at 983-1492 to find out how you can get involved.

Our sports complex team has been working hard to prepare the fields for baseball season. We are working to repair the clay, baselines, and the grass from the extended use during the fall and winter months. We have also been working on sprucing up some of the dugout and bleacher areas! All things that will help to make our park a fun, safe, and beautiful place to play. We are thrilled to see so many families joining the sport leagues and enjoying our fields. If you would like to use the fields or batting cages but have found the gates locked please call the Youth Center to find out how you can gain access.

We have upgraded our facility rental process to make it fully digital. This includes a new information sheet that will help us prepare a more accurate quote, and help us find the facility that will best serve you for your event. If you are interested in renting one of our facilities reach out to us as many dates are already booked and we have begun booking into 2025. Our administrative office hours begin at 8 a.m. daily Monday – Friday. If you have questions about our programs or rentals please reach out.

In addition to all of the little things we’ve been doing to prepare us for this year’s events, our recreation support, maintenance, and sports complex staff have been very busy all across the city! Some things you may have seen and some you may not have, here is what we have been up to this month:

Youth Center

• The Youth Center is open for students to enjoy our building from 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM Friday.
• 103 youth enjoyed the Youth Center game room X-boxes, Mac Books, and 3-D Printers throughout the month.
• We now offer freshly cooked snacks for our students each week in addition to our snack cart!
o Monday – Pop into the week with FRESH POPCORN
o Wednesday – Warm your heart with FRESH BAKED COOKIES
o Friday – Freeze those weekday blues away with FREEZIE POP FRIDAY
• The Youth Center back room hosted 3 private events this month.
• The Youth Center front room hosted 2 little league meetings this month.
• The Youth Center back room hosted 2 corporate luncheons this month.
• Daily afternoon Youth Activity Groups continue to meet with new groups being added every month. If you are interested in any of the classes stop by the Youth Center to get more information on how to sign up.
o 1st and 2nd Monday of the month – 4H hosts cooking classes
o 3rd and 4th Monday of the month – DIME mentoring is held
o Tuesday - Sugar Dolls
o Wednesday & Thursday - DIME Dance Class
o Thursday - Boy Scouts
o Monday, Wednesday, & Friday - Taekwondo classes
• 22 Facility Rental Requests were processed by staff this month.
• Staff landscaped around the facility.
• Staff disassembled remaining holiday decorations around the Youth Center.
• Staff addressed a safety concern from a broken leg of the facility furniture.
• Staff reset the GFI outlets around the building.
• Staff worked to address storage concerns and adjust current fixtures to meet the new needs of the department.

John Boy Auditorium and Beardsley Room

•  The John Boy Auditorium hosted 1 private event this month.
• The John Boy Auditorium hosted 2 B.A.S.S. Fishing Tournament events this month.
• The John Boy Auditorium and Beardsley Room hosted 2 non-profit events this month.
• The John Boy Auditorium hosted 2 mobile food pantries this month.
•  The Beardsley Room hosted 1 sports league meeting this month.
•  Staff deep treated the flooring in the main auditorium following the period of heavy event usage.
•  Staff replaced door kicks on internal doors.
•  Staff deep cleaned stage floor.
•  Staff continues to keep facility ready for upcoming events.


• Sweetest Town Playground and Pavilions hosted 1 private event this month.
• Trinidad Park hosted 4 Sunday Soccer matches.
• Staff disassembled Christmas decorations around Sweetest Town Playground.
•  Staff completed painting and lining the pickle ball courts on Central Park East courts.
•  Staff made repairs to restrooms at the Lake Okeechobee Boat Ramp.
•  Staff maintained the landscape at our beautiful parks.
•  Staff continues to inspect all parks, playgrounds, and public areas daily picking up debris and litter so that residents can continue to enjoy a clean and beautiful space.
•  Staff cleaned and sanitized outdoor restrooms at: Youth Center, Lake Okeechobee Boat Ramp, Sugarland Sports Complex, and Trinidad Park.

Sugarland Sports Complex and Park Pavilion

•  Staff spent 80 hours removing trash and litter from fields.
•  Staff spent 80 hours mowing.

•  Staff spent 50 hours weeding.
•  Staff spent 45 hours fertilizing and top dressing the fields.
•  Staff spent 26 hours adding and raking clay to baseball fields.
•  Staff spent 32 hours pressure washing bleachers and seating areas around the complex.
•  Sugarland Sports Complex hosted AYSO all-star soccer practices.
•  Sugarland Sports Complex hosted Clewiston Youth Baseball and Softball league try outs and uniform fittings this month.
•  Sugarland Sports Complex hosted 3 different travel baseball teams weekly practices this month.
•  Sugarland Park Pavilion hosed 1 private event this month.
•  Sugarland Park Pavilion hosted 1 mobile food pantry this month.
•  Staff painted soccer fields for AYSO all-stars this month.
•  Staff has been diligently working to rehab the grass and treat the weeds from the extended use of the fields during the soccer season.
•  Staff sprayed round up throughout the complex around the warning tracks and fence lines.
•  Staff applied pre-emergent fertilizer to all fields this month.
•  Staff assisted electrical contractor in repairing stadium lights in both of the quads.
•  Staff cleaned and sanitized all restrooms throughout the park.
C.S. Mott Pool and Splash Pad
•  Staff performed maintenance on chemical delivery systems.
•  Staff measured and monitored chemical levels of pool water.
•  Staff weeded fencing line around pool deck.
•  Staff cleaned the pool filters.
•  Staff disassembled Christmas decorations around the front of the CS Mott Pool.
•  Staff organized the storage room at the pool.

We are working on organizing more family fun community events, and we would love to know what you would like to see. No idea is too big or small, we want it all from video game tournaments to movies in the park and everything in between. Please send any ideas or recommendations to If you are willing to donate and/or sponsor an event or activity please reach out. We would love to hear from you!

If you have any pictures enjoying any of our parks or facilities that you would like to share please tag us on facebook or email them to We love to see our community enjoying the many spaces we have to offer.

Library Director Natasha Hayes reports:

• Library staff provided ready reference/computer assistance, circulation activities, and patron programming to 1,579 patrons this month.

•  This month’s programming activities have included:
o Video Game Club was held every Tuesday with a total of 36 participants. Make sure to swing by the library and join the fun!
o The Friends of the Clewiston Library met Wednesday, January 17th at 4 p.m. in order to discuss their upcoming Annual Book Sale and Raffle which will be held on the morning of the Sugar Festival. This event will be held on Saturday, March 16th. Be sure to stop in and enjoy the cool a/c while picking up your favorite books at a great price. Also, be sure to browse the amazing items that have been donated from various companies and individuals in the community which will all be up for raffle. Every dollar raised supports programming at the Clewiston Library.
o LEGO Builders Club was held on Thursday, January 25th with a total of 22 participants. This month’s challenge was to create their own bricks masterpiece. Congrats to Matthew for winning the challenge.
o On Thursday January 31st, we had so much fun at the STEAM Club. There were a total of 54 participants. Look at these awesome creations! You can check out our February Children’s calendar for more activities and maker programs coming up soon.
o The Adult book Club met on January 31st to discuss “Take My Hand ” written by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. There were a total of 13 participants.
o AWE Learning Stations were accessed and used by a total of 97 children. The AWE learning computer provides young children with the ability to learn about Literacy, Math, Science & Nature, Art & Music, and Writing & Computer Skills. Make sure to stop by and let the kids try it out!

• Anime Club
o In-Person (Open to 6th-12th graders): Anime Club meets every Friday from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Come hang out and chat with other Anime fans. We will be watching anime provided courtesy of Crunchyroll and talking about your favorite manga.
o Via Zoom: We invite tweens and teens to join us every Monday at 3:30 p.m. To register, email to receive Zoom log-in information. If you are under 18, please be sure to have a guardian’s permission to participate in this online event.

• Video Game Club: You don’t want to miss this! Stop in at 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday for video games. We have Super Smash Bro’s, Mario Kart, Minecraft, Animal Crossing and the Oculus Quest! Open to all skill levels. Children ages 7 and up. Walk-ins welsome, but registering is always encouraged for better preparation.

• Book Club: Come join the fun at our next TWO meetings: Wednesday, February 28th at 2:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to discuss the newest book club title, “The Guest List ” by Lucy Foley. With lively discussions, this group truly enjoys their meetings as they exchange their thoughts about each new title. New readers are always welcome.

If you have not done so already, please join our Facebook page (Clewiston Public Library) in order to remain up to date on the library’s events and programs.

Code Compliance Supervisor Debbie Clay reports:

Sec. 14-125. - Keeping domestic fowl prohibited. (a)The term “domestic fowl” means chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to keep domestic fowl within the city. (Code 1960, § 4-5; Code 1982, § 4-15; Code 1999, § 14-112) Segundo. 14-125. - Mantener las aves domésticas prohibidas. (a) El término “ave doméstica” significa pollos, pavos, patos o gansos. (b) Será ilegal para cualquier persona mantener aves domésticas dentro de la ciudad. (Código 1960, § 4-5; Código 1982, § 4-15; Código 1999, § 14-112)

Code Enforcement personnel will begin focused enforcement on these ordinances in March as well as continued enforcement of all City of Clewiston Ordinances.

The complete listing of City of Clewiston Ordinances are available online and may be accessed utilizing the City of Clewiston website: or Municode Library website:

If you have any questions about how to achieve/maintain compliance with this or any other City of Clewiston Ordinance you may contact our office at 863-983-1454 extension 309.

Community Development Director/Fire Chief Travis Reese reports:
• Two new single-family homes have been completed on East Ventura. All work was done by local contractors, including the design of both homes.
• South Florida Water Management District will be building a new tower located in south Clewiston near the Clewiston Public Works facility.
• MD Now in Clewiston is open and seeing patients. Visit their website at to see a list of services or to check-in online.

Golf Course Director Robbie Rush reports:
• Get all information of what’s going on at Clewiston Golf Course Facebook.
•  Get on our E-mail list by going to the City of Clewiston website. Go to the golf course division and at the bottom of the page you can sign-up on Constant Contact and get all Clewiston Golf Course information.
• Memberships are available, contact Clewiston Golf Course. A complete listing of all our fees for golf are listed on the City of Clewiston website.
• Guest Rates $45.00 Plus Tax 18 Holes and $22.52 Plus Tax for 9 Holes. Tee Times are recommended, we are in season.
• Monday Special 18 holes after 1:002 noon  $33.00 plus tax.
• Golf Shop Hours are 7:15am to 5:00pm. The first tee time is 7:30am. Carts are due in at 5:45pm daily.
• Advertise a Tee Sign out on the golf course. If you are interested in advertising your business at the golf course call 863-983-1448.
• The Driving Range has a new token machine now. Get your tokens in the golf shop.
•  Golf lessons and Club Repair are available at the club from PGA Professional Robbie Rush. Contact golf shop at 863-983-1448.
•  Clewiston Golf Course can supply all your golfing needs. You can inquire in the golf shop for whatever merchandise you need.
•  The irrigation project is moving along at a good pace. This week the front nine will be finished and completion of the project will be done in April.
•  Hendry County Sheriff Department Brian Haas Memorial Golf Tournament was held January 13, 2024. 80 players competed and raised money for scholarships for high school students seeking criminal justice careers.

For more information call the golf shop 863-983-1448

Police Chief Tom Lewis reports:

Police Department
On January 6, 2024, Chief Lewis attended the Florida Police Chief’s Mid-Winter Training Conference. This multi-day conference, held in Orlando, Florida focused on training topics such as Medical Marijuana, Rapid DNA, Mental Health, and a ‘lessons-learned’ presentation from the Orlando Police Chief on a recent officer-involved shooting where two Orlando Police Officers were shot and a subsequent multi-day manhunt ensued.

On January 18, 2024, Chief Lewis attended the Palm Beach County Chief’s Association’s installation breakfast, where he was honored to see former Clewiston Police Officer and current Gulf Stream Police Chief Richard Jones be installed as the President of the association. Congratulations Richard!

Neighborhood Watch – We’re looking for YOU to get involved! There are many benefits to neighborhood watch such as building stronger relationships between the police and the community we serve, residents becoming more educated about police operations, getting help in reducing the risk of crime for you and your neighbors, working together for disaster preparedness, etc. If you are interested in joining our program or learning more, please email Chief Tom Lewis at

Animal Services
In the month of January 2024, Animal Services reported the intake of more than 24 cats and 35 dogs. New Employee – The newly created Shelter Manager position will assist the police administration in supervising the animal shelter operation – ensuring a higher level of care for every animal that enters our facility. We are pleased to announce that Juliette Cruz is our new (and first-ever) Shelter Manager. We are excited to have her as part of the team.

Highlighted Training
On January 10, 2024, Sergeant Roberts, Sergeant Nieves, and Commander Levins attended a Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Class, free of charge, hosted by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. As the agency receives more complaints regarding commercial vehicle violations, this education will assist us in our enforcement efforts.
During the week of January 22, 2024, Officer Eric Williams attended a Middle Management course, free of charge, hosted by the Southwest Florida Public Safety Academy in Fort Myers, Florida. The course focuses on leadership, current human resources laws, and preparing the middle-level manager to be successful in his/her new role.

During the week of January 29, 2024, Sergeant Tito Nieves attended an Internal Affairs course hosted by the FBI at the Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce, Florida.

General Services Director Williams reports:
Operations was happy to support the Bassmaster Open by supplying a light tower and parking lot signage. Now it’s time to pivot to Sugarfest 2024! Checking electric services and generally cleaning the park in preparation for another great event.

Electric Crew Activities:
o installed concrete poles and underground service for boat basin street lighting
o repaired broken neutrals on Pasadena & W. Arcade Avenue feeders
o disconnected services for contractor repairs and upgrades
o repaired 5 street lights
o changed transformer at 700 E Ventura
o repaired tennis court lights
o swapped HPS lighting to LED at Wastewater Treatment Plant, including security lights
o removed Christmas lights
o installed conduit after repairing bad underground primary
o repaired bad connectors (2) on service poles
o repaired underground service by the Harry T. Vaughn public library parking lot
o changed transformer on Ventura Avenue
o spliced primary near Angler’s Marina
o replaced light contactor on US 27

Water Sewer Crew Activities:
o Repaired (9) valve leaks and water line breaks caused by galvanized and pvc pipe failures.
o Prepared water meter boxes to support AMI meter installations
o performed lift station inspections (50)
o repaired lift stations: to include float resets, pump replacements, pump cleaning and riser repair, heater replacement, and check valves
o Assisted AMI contractor with installation of pressure sensor in Sugarland Circle lift station for proof of concept testing. Device will alert staff via text when sanitary sewer overflows threaten.

Customer Service Department
o Your Utility partners with customers to bring renewable power to the electric grid. If you’d like to learn more about net metering, please visit the FTC consumer information site at .
o Please remember to register with CodeRed (Reverse 911). This system allows us to contact you in case of an emergency or with other informational announcements. You may register by clicking on the CodeRed link at the bottom of the City‘s website page  You may update your information at any time through the same link.
o If you are considering replacing your air conditioner or attic insulation, remember the City offers a rebate program for those items. Most local contractors participate in the program and can give you more information. You can also visit our website at or call our office.
o IT’S LIGHTNING SEASON! Don’t forget to sign up for your meter based surge protection! Visit our office today.
o ONLINE BILL PAY IS AVAILABLE on our web site at or

Facility Maintenance:
• Air condition repairs (2) and filter replacements at city facilities.
• Sprinkler repairs (2).
• Continued cleanup project at operations compound

Other work:
o Removed Christmas Decorations at Civic Park;
o Installed lighting fixtures at utilities building and installed new controllers on score boards at ball fields
o completed electrical repairs in the utilities building server room
o pressure cleaned and repainted the floor outside Youth Center restrooms and the Gazebo in the Civic Park
o installed a new fence at the tennis courts.

Street Division:
“No Parking” signs are being posted throughout the city. City Ordinance Sec. 70-20 prohibits (with the exception of Sugarland Highway and a few arterial feeder roadways), operating or parking a tractor, semitrailer or common carrier vehicle on any of the paved streets of the city, unless for the purpose of making delivery of goods or products within the city. Please call Public Works if you have questions or would like more information at 863-983-1471.

o shopping carts collected and returned to businesses
o landscape maintenance, including Golf Course
o pot hole repair
o street signs replaced and guard rails repaired
o debris removed from streets, catch basins and welcome signs

Other work
o spread fertilizer on Royal Palm plantings along city streets
o assisted with removal of Christmas decorations
o repaired seventy linear feet of damaged sidewalk on S. Deane Duff Avenue
o assisted recreation department prepare the boat basin for the upcoming fishing tournaments, return soccer goals from Cane Sugarland Park, and landscape maintenance at Civic Park in preparation for the Sugar Festival

Solid Waste:
o solid waste material transport to Ortona transfer station continues.
o placed dumpsters at the fairgrounds for annual fair.

If you’d like to schedule a special pickup service, please call the Public Works Department at 983-1471.

Central Garage:
o staff continues to maintain the city’s fleet.
o transferred surplus equipment to auction.

Clewiston, FYI