Davenport Park Relocation To Aid Developer Makes Florida Tax Watch Turkey List

Florida Tax Watch has released its annual list of turkeys–questionable expenditures contained in the state budget–and wouldn’t you know it, a project related to another project mentioned in this space last year made the list.
That would be the $4 million proposed to relocate Lewis Matthews Park on the city’s east side. The park is named in honored of a former elected known for his support of youth sports facilities.
The reason city officials want to relocate the park is because the present location is in the way of a plan by The Cassidy Group, a Winter Haven development company. to extend Powerline Road northwesterly from its current terminus at South Boulevard to U.S. 17-92 near Bargain Barn Road.
That would allow for the development of some landlocked property Cassidy owns.
The road project which the Polk County Commission agreed last year to assist in funding in cooperation with three front corporations related to Cassidy, is already under construction.
The $4 million relocation project was discussed with Davenport officials in 2022. If the money in the budget remains, it would seemingly relieve Cassidy of having to front $2 million for the project costs and would be yet another subsidy for this whole development enterprise at taxpayer expense.
And some political leaders wonder why the public is skeptical of their performance.

Heat And Energy Topics At LULAC Meeting

Last weekend Latino residents from around Central Florida heard about environmental issues related to heat exposure and proposed utility rate increases,
The information came during an all-day conference in Haines City organized by the League of United Latin American Citizens that dealt with a number of issues ranging from voter registration to women entrepreneurs.
The audience heard that the major for-profit electric utilities that serve the area are poised to see a major rate increase in coming months.
The requests will be the topic of in-person and virtual public hearings before the Florida Public Service Commission.
Members representatives from the Alianza Center in Orlando discussed the impact of higher temperatures brought by climate change on communities.
They said the problem will worsen in coming decades and speculated at some point the heat will become so extreme it could deter tourists from visiting Florida.
The heat could also be devastating to people with health problems and people living from paycheck to paycheck that could face challenges from higher utility bills/
It is important, they said, for people in the various communities together and discuss how to become more resilient.
For more information on the Alianza Center, go to https://alianzacenter.org/ . To learn more about LULAC, go to https://lulac.org/ .

FDOT Plans Collier-Polk Trail Meetings

The Florida Department of Transportation is planning a series of open houses to provide information and get public feedback on a proposed 210-mile multi-use trail between Lakeland and Naples.

This is one of a number of regional trails that are in the planning stage around the state to promote ecotourism, connect towns and offer opportunities to visit heritage sites and sections of the Florida wildlife corridor.

The schedule for the meetings, which will run from 5 to 7 p.m. is:

–May 29: Hardee County Agri-Civic Center, 515 Civic Center Drive, Wauchula.

–May 30: Highlands Hammock State Park Recreation Hall, 5931 Hammock Road, Sebring.

–June 4: Florida Department of Transporation Conference Room, 801 N. Broadway Avenue. Bartow.

Hype Collides With Reality On Climate Stats

Once again some of the national media have trumpeted the claim that last month was the hottest ever,but local statistics belie that claim.

Accordiing to the National Weather Service,  April in Lakeland was either the 51st coolest or the 57th warmest  April on record.

Records dating to 1915 show there were warmer Aprils in 1922 and 1929.

In Bartow, whose weather records date to  1892, the hottest April so far occurred in 1908. This year ranked 82nd on the warming scale.

It may have been warmer somewhere, but local data do not indicate cause for alarm.

Frankly the data may lead people to wonder whether someone is cooking the books to promote their personal agenda.