News Update for 11/16/22

Highlands County has a new administrator. Following some discussion yesterday, commissioners moved to drop the word "interim" from Laurie Hurner’s title, making her officially the new county administrator.
The search for a new administrator had drawn better than 30 applicants – seven of which made a short list.
In the end, commissioners agreed that Hurner had done a great job as the interim administrator, and voted to hire from within. Hurner now will get with County Attorney Sherry Stuphen to hammer out a contract.

Also at their meeting yesterday, Highlands County commissioners gave the go-ahead to Spring Lake Partners to move ahead with a plan to convert some 28-acres from Agriculture to a Planned Development District.
The project, slated to be placed in the Fairway Lakes sub-division off Duane Palmer Blvd, would be known as "The Farm." It will consist of a community farm, micro farm, parks, ponds, walking trails and waterfront.
Plans also include farm estates, farm homes, cottage homes, and townhouses. No timeframe for the buildout was announced.

Avon Park city council members had a bit of back and forth as they decided who to hire to oversee improvements to their drinking water system. Vice Mayor Jim Barnard lobbied for local firm Cool & Cobb to do the work – however, other council members wanted to stick with consultants Kimley-Horne.
They said that was their area of expertise and that Cool & Cobb currently had plenty of other projects to keep them working.