News Update for 4/2/24

It may seem like there’s a lot of new housing here, but a new survey by Construction Coverage shows Highlands County is lagging behind the national average.
The survey says that in the past decade, Highlands’ housing inventory has grown by 6.1 percent, while the population has grown by 7.6 percent.
The national growth in housing over the past ten years was set at 8.5 percent.
Moreover, the report indicates that the median home price in Highlands has jumped by nearly 170-percent.

By consensus, Highlands County commissioners this morning deferred the idea of creating a "Betterment Grant" program. The idea would be to allocate commissioners a certain budget, to donate to 501.(c)(3) organizations to help their operations.
Commissioners balked at the idea, saying that it would be a slippery slope, or open a "Pandora’s Box." County Administrator Lurie Hurner floated the suggestion, saying that she regularly is contacted by charitable organizations who are in search of funding.

While others still are out campaigning, there’s a big election in the town of Lake Placid today. Four candidates are in the running for two seats on the town council. Longtime incumbents Ray Royce and Charlie Wilson are being challenged by residents Colleen Charles and Joy Eberhard.
The two women reportedly launched their campaigns, following the council’s action to move canal and lakeside residents off septic tanks, and put them on the municipal sewer system.
They charge the program will cost too much and was not well thought out. Voters in the Caladium Capital can cast their ballots today from 7am unti 7pm.

Motorists in Sebring will have to find another way around this week, as television crews document the reinventing of the City on the Circle. RTR Media has been approved to close several roads this week.
Circle Park Drive will be closed, and all spoke streets will be shut down as far as wall street until 6pm.
The same closeures will be in effect tomorrow morning from 7:30am until 10:30 am.
Tomorrow, Lakeview Drive from Chicago Avenue to Kenilworth also will be shut down starting at 11am.

Highlands County commissioners will meet for their first session in April this morning. Among other things, they are expected to approve a grant for annual tournaments to be held by the United Fastpitch Association.
The agreement will funnel some $60,000 annually to the organization over the next three years. There’s no indication on the economic impact the event may or may not have on the county as a whole.
The money comes from a bed tax, gleaned from those who stay in local hotels and motels.
In other action, commmissioners are expected to recieve the annual report from County Administrator Laurie Hurner.