“This was the future we were told we need not worry about – that development and growth would be needed after the sale to FPL.”
KENNETH & DEBORAH DAIGE
The following opinion piece was written by Press Journal opinion columnist, Larry Reisman.
I have appreciated and found common ground in SOME of Mr. Reisman’s opinion pieces.
But not today.
There are troubling repercussions from the sale to FPL.
We were told there would be enough money from the sale to run the city for at least five years.
We were given campaign promises, that each Vero Electric household MEMBER would receive a check for almost $2000.00.
Both these enticements do not seem to be available.
These two statements from Reisman’s column are troubling:
The city will then have to make up the $5.4 million annually it used from electric proceeds to prop up its general fund.
Having some kind of commerce at the Three Corners will add to the city’s tax base and cushion the financial blow.
This was the future we were told we need not worry about – that development and growth would be needed after the sale to FPL.
The ink has not been penned to be in the process of drying on the closing of the FPL sale and yet we are bombarded with countless commercial proposals to ‘cushion’ us from the ‘financial blow’ of the FPL sale.
The Indian River Chamber of Commerce held committee meetings and determined their vision for the ‘3 corners’. The postal annex property was given much discussion and consideration.
One request stood out:
“The Bridgewater Association, Inc. is against the relocation of the substation to the postal annex property and they believe it will reduce their property values.”
Everyone missed the city council meeting where the council voted to tag the postal annex land as a utility easement and then also agreed to turn this utility easement over to FPL – free, because it had to as it is now a utility easement.
The postal annex property has been forcibly removed from the table.
So – the ‘3 corners’ has become the ‘2 corners’ and this opinion columnist and apparently many others missed that important city council vote.
There is even a seated city council member who thought the 6% franchise fee that will be attached to CITY RESIDENTS bills was a gift from FPL. It had to be explained to him while seated on the dais that this is a fee the city will be charging and asking FPL to do the billing.
It is curious watching how South Florida has developed with FPL as their main electric provider. Very few ‘small towns’ remain and those that do ‘merged’ into larger metros or counties. Assisted living facilities are not on FPL’s list of properties that get turned on first after a hurricane. And very recently power poles in Hollywood and North Palm Beach have toppled along with blown transformers. The power was off for over 12 hours in Downtown Hollywood this past weekend, and as of 2pm Monday July 16th the power was still off to many in North Palm Beach.
Vero Beach is required to turn over a well maintained and problem free system to FPL at the moment of closing. Our system has been constantly upgraded.
FPL feeds off development and it makes folks wonder how outsiders and commercial developers will be plying their vision on us – us who at this moment in time are without the city councils patience and willingness to allow local citizen vision.
These are troubling times…..