FAC News Clips - July 25, 2017 -

Daily Commercial
Sumter, Lake officials look for compromise on transportation board rift
he simmering problems at the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization are on tap for discussion by the Lake County Commission during their scheduled meeting on Tuesday.  The rift became clear after questions surfaced about the LSMPO executive officer’s ability to lead the organization.

Palm Beach Daily News
It’s time to increase small-group grants funding, cultural council says
The last time county commissioners approved $400,000 in grants for small cultural groups was in the 2008 budget. The money went to 45 groups after cultural advocates mounted a full-court-press campaign to scotch plans to eliminate funding.  The following year, funding was reduced to $320,000, then $262,000 in 2010 and finally to $200,000 in 2012, where it’s remained.

Pensacola News Journal
Santa Rosa County moves forward with $3.1M project to help with flooding in Pace
After hearing from more than a dozen concerned residents, Santa Rosa County Commissioners decided Monday to commit available funds to control flooding issues that have plagued Pace residents since at least 2014. Pending a vote later this week, the commissioners will study implementing a plan for engineering improvements for the Tiburon Project behind Pace High School.

Gulf County Scallop Season Postponed
Just one day before excited locals and tourists were about to go scalloping Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has postponed the season.   "As a precautionary measure due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish, the bay scallop harvest originally scheduled to begin on July 25th in Gulf County waters will be temporarily postponed," FWC officials wrote in a news release.

Hillsborough County workers survey new site for Confederate monument
Lunchtime at Chicken Taco and Loco along Brandon Boulevard is about to get a twist.  “I think it’s an awkward place to put it,” said Brandon resident Desmond Lewis.  “It’s definitely a bit weird the area they picked.” When patrons look across the street, they’ll soon see a towering Confederate monument nestled between the Mexican restaurant and a pawn and gun shop.

Bradenton Herald
Manatee County home values fall for first time in 2017
For the first time in 2017, home prices in Manatee County have dipped — but they’re still up from a year ago.  According to figures released by the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee on Monday, the median sales price for a single-family home in the month of June is $297,750, down from $299,000 in May. This ends a four-month run that saw a steady surge in prices that delighted homeowners.

Palm Beach Post
Morning Star proposal pits affordable housing against Ag Reserve
Palm Beach County’s urgent need for affordable housing will crash into its desire to protect the Agricultural Reserve Wednesday when county commissioners meet to discuss proposed development projects.  One of those projects, Morning Star, would see a 51-acre chunk of the Ag Reserve used as a site for a 130-room hotel, a 115-bed congregate living facility, 155,000 square feet of commercial space and 360 housing units, 144 of which would be set aside as lower-cost workforce housing.

Fox News 35
Orange County trying to tackle mosquito problem
For the first time in six years planes spraying for mosquitoes are up over Orange County.  Orange County Mosquito Control announced they will launch aerial spraying planes this week to combat the massive mosquito populations in the eastern portion of the county.  According to the county a recent trapping yielded 4000 mosquito samples in a single trap compared to just 300 in the same trap the previous week.

News Chief
Polk County property tax rate to remain steady
The county’s property tax rate next year is expected to remain level.  Polk County commissioners are expected to set the tax rate today for residents within cities at $6.78 per $1,000 of taxable value. That means someone with a home with a taxable value of $150,000 and $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pay $678 in county taxes. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the county administration building in Bartow.