Setting the record straight... Let us know what rumors you've heard.
Spring Training Security
What we’ve heard: Some of my neighbors are concerned they are paying for what looks to be 5 to 10 Deputies to direct traffic for Rays exhibition Games.
Reality: A term of the county's contract with the Rays stipulates that the County shall “...provide all appropriate public services, including without limitation, interior & exterior security, paramedical, crowd & traffic control, at appropriate levels of coverage for all events.” For spring training there was four CCSO deputies handling these duties at most of the spring training games, and at the high-attendance games there were five.
Tax Exemption for Residents over 70
What we’ve heard: I heard that residents aged 70 and older are exempt from the school portion of their property tax. Is this true?
Reality: There is currently no exemption from school taxes for seniors. The Board did recently approve an ordinance for an additional $50,000 exemption to seniors 65 and over with limited incomes. This goes into effect for the 2014 tax roll.
What we’ve heard: Has the state of Florida or Charlotte County passed a sound ordinance law?
Reality: The County Code currently prohibits excessive, unnecessary or loud noises (County Code Section 2-5-131 et seq. from 1994). The County is currently reviewing these provisions with the Sheriff’s Office to determine whether there is a need to update or revise the noise ordinance and if so, the best way to do that. County staff will also be meeting with the State Attorney’s Office seeking their input before the matter is brought back to the BCC for discussion.
DeSoto Ditch and Harbour Heights
What we’ve heard: The "DeSoto Ditch" in Harbour Heights is to be dredged and the native scrub land on it's eastern "shore" sold as "waterfront" homesites for McMansions for power boat owners (like those on the Peace River side, each with a "Florida-friendly" island in the middle of its irrigated lawn). Phase 1, removal of the gopher tortoise population, was completed in February under the auspices of the "Desoto Ditch Vegetation Clearing" project approved by the BCC at the behest of the MSBU and paid for by taxpayers.
Reality: The "Desoto Ditch Clearing Project" consisted of the clearing of exotics along the DeSoto Canal. This project is within the territory of and was funded through the Mid Charlotte Stormwater Utility MSBU. The project is complete. The clearing of the exotics revealed severe erosion along the banks of the DeSoto Canal, which Engineering is planning to hire a consultant to evaluate.
The "Dredging of Harbour Heights Waterway Project" was funded through the Harbor Heights Waterway MSBU and took place in 2009.
For more detailed information on either project (including the gopher tortoise relocation), please contact Joanne Vernon, the Assistant County Engineer, 941-575-3661.