News Update for 9/16/20

The latest Coronavirus test numbers released by the Florida Department of Health show there have been 6 additional positive, and 29 negative tests added to Highlands County’s ongoing count.
Of the 20,062 tests administered locally – 18,028 have been negative with 2024 positive cases recorded.
There have been 215 people hospitalized at some point during their illness and 80 deaths have been tied to the corona virus here since numbers started being kept.

Despite an impassioned plea from Avon Park Planning & Zoning member Jean Jordan, Avon Park city council members voted 3-2 to stand by their decision to have the Wylde Building torn down.
Consulting engineer Carl Cool described the structure as “a terrible mess,” He told council that if they saved the outside of the building, a new structure built to 2020 standards would have to be built inside of it.
Council member Stanley Spurlock contended grant money could be available to fund the reconstruction. Both he and councilwoman Maria Sutherland voted against the move.

Officials from the NuCor Steel manufacturing facility say they are well underway to starting operation. Reportedly, they already have hired 156 people – 63 of who live in Highlands County. They say the Rolling Mill should be functional in October with the Melt Shop to be on line some time in November.
The water and sewer service from Avon Park reportedly already is operational. They say other work – such as intersection improvements are still under construction.

Highlands County commissioners are scrambling to spend $4.6 million dollars in CARES act money by the end of the month. Apparently scrutiny of the applications for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security act money is going slowly.
The county needs to have all that money paid out by the end of the month to be eligible for a second round of more than $13 million dollars. Commissioners called to have additional personnel review and approve the applications from individuals, businesses and community services so that checks can be cut.