News Update for 1/9/19

Highlands County School Board members last night agreed to spend nearly $90,000 for an electronic student tracking system. The program will begin with students riding busses, to determine who is on the bus and whether or not they actually had been assigned to that route.
Board member Donna Howerton balked at the price tag, but was assured litigation costs could exceed that, should the district loose a student.
The money will come from the half-cent sales tax, which was said to be used to fix decrepit school facilities.

At the request of Highlands County Commissioner Arlene Tuck, County attorney Joy Carmichael has been researching as to whether commissioners could set term limits.
The answer is, it may take a while before that is determined. Carmichael said whether or not that can be done after the recent passage of Amendment 10 to the Florida Constitution could be interpreted.
Carmichael said the State Attorney’s Office said it could be a year in review, then would go to the new State Attorney General before an opinion might be forthcoming.
Commissioners have been cool to the idea, saying that elections serve as term limits for members of the board.

Officials at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity report that the City of Avon Park has been awarded a grant of more than $970,000 for water and wastewater improvement projects. The money, from the Florida Growth Grant Fund, reportedly will be used to extend the system to the Polk County Line.
It’s part of a plan to provide utility services for the planned NuCOR steel rebar plant, that is set to go in south of Frostproof. There also is a new plastics recycling operation that is set to go in in the Highlands County side. That’s to be located in the defunct SunPure operation.

Although there have been no red flags or burn bans ordered year so far, Highlands County officials are warning residents of the onset of the annual dry season. A post indicates there’s no rain in the forecast and says there is danger of starting a wildfire.
Authorities are cautioning residents to be careful with any outdoor burning.