Ministers against ‘buy the land’ plan

CLEWISTON — At the Jan. 23 Clewiston City Commission meeting, area pastors spoke out in support of farmers.

Pastor Jeff Smith from the First United Methodist Church of Clewiston read a “decree” on behalf of the Greater Clewiston Ministerial Association:

“We the Pastors and Churches representing the communities that are nestled along Lake Okeechobee’s southern rim and which constitute the earthy fabric of agricultural Florida;

“Hereby Speak and Invoke a Spiritual Decree of Blessings and Economic Prosperity over Our Sweet Land of Liberty in Canal Point, Pahokee, Belle Glade, South Bay, Lake Harbor, Clewiston and Moore Haven;

“We Will No Longer Sit in Silence as environmental elitists seek to destroy our embattled farmers and to seize valuable and irreplaceable farmlands that will devastate entire generations of families. These manipulating measures have tossed our communities to and fro one time too many;

“We Say Enough, It is Time for us to stand together against those who wish to flood our towns and way of life and render what we value as a desolate place;

“Stand Up and Agree With Us, to fast track the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike Repairs so that our families, churches and businesses can grow and prosper without the on-going threat of ‘Take the Land and Flood Their Towns’;

“We LOVE Our Towns, We LOVE Our Churches, We LOVE Our Farmers, We LOVE Our Way of Life in Rural Agricultural Florida, so we rebuke and reject any efforts that will not allow us to grow and prosper according to Deuteronomy 28: 1-14

“In Hope and In Faith of God’s Promises Being Fulfilled, We the Pastors of The Glades Farming Communities attest this day of January, 23rd, 2017, Let Our Lands Sweetly Prosper.”

In other business, the Commission passed an ordinance that amends the land development regulations of the City of Clewiston, establishing a temporary building moratorium on marijuana dispensaries/medical marijuana treatment centers for a period of six months from the adoption of this ordinance.

The Commission passed an ordinance with the removal of 3c. This ordinance repeals Sections 14-5, 14-27 and 14-29 of the Code of Ordinances. The City of Clewiston has determined that it is necessary and in the public’s best interest to provide uniform control over aggressive, dangerous and vicious dogs.

The Commission passed a first reading of an ordinance creating Chapter 110, Article II, Division 2, Section 110-63 of the Clewiston Code of laws and ordinances, entitled “Reasonable Accommodation Procedures” to protect persons with disabilities due to substance abuse and the general public. A public hearing regarding this issue is scheduled for Feb. 20.

The Commission passed a first reading of an ordinance creation Section 74-7(d) of the Code of Ordinances, provides for standards for discharge of prohibited substances in the City Wastewater Collection and Treatment System, and creates a Fats, Oil and Grease Best Management Practices Manual. A public hearing regarding this issue is scheduled for Feb. 20.

The Commission passed a first reading of an ordinance amending Section 110-2 of the zoning code to modify the definition of hotel and motel, to impose time limitations for persons to stay in hotels and motels, providing for inclusion in the code of ordinances, conflict, severability and effective date. A public hearing regarding this issue is scheduled for Feb. 20.

A resolution was approved requesting the Florida Department of Transportation to prepare and enter into a transfer of property by public purpose Quit Claim Deed to the City of Clewiston. The Commission concluded that it is in the best interest of the citizens of the City of Clewiston for the City to take possession and control of certain property from the State of Florida, Department of Transportation.

The Commission approved a final development order for a 4-story, 13,000 sq. ft. hotel to be located at 305 West Sugarland Hwy., lots 1-10, inclusive and lots 33-36, inclusive all in Block 201 of the General Plan of Clewiston, Florida.

The Commission approved Jerry C. Cochrane to serve on the Planning and Zoning Board.
This item went out to bid on Dec. 15, 2016, the Commission approved awarding the bid to the only applicant, Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $175,115 The new contract will allow for additional applications via both aerial and ground.

The Commission approved an amendment to the FDLE Grant Agreement for the $1,500,000 appropriation for funding for the Clewiston Police Department. The amendment revises the reimbursement process and schedule.

The commisson had a discussion regarding the interpretation of Section 22-45 of Article III of Chapter 22 of the Clewiston Code of Ordinances: Should cars in a junk yard that are placed on racks exceed a certain height? The attorney’s interpretation is that cars can in fact exceed 6 ft, if they are stacked on racks. The city attorney will look into clearing up the language of that ordinance.

The Commission voted in favor of retaining Gary Brandenburg as the City Attorney.
Public Comments:

A resident spoke to “golf cart violation enforcement”. The Commission asked the Chief of Police to review the violations reported to make sure they are all being handled consistently. The City Attorney and they City Manager will review the current policy and report back to the Commission.

A resident spoke to properties owned by the City that were not being properly maintained and could possibly be put on the market. The commission will be following up on this at a later date.

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