Clewiston FYI

Posted 7/20/23

For Your Information - July 11, 2023

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Clewiston FYI


For Your Information July 11, 2023

From the city manager and staff

Dates to Remember

July 20, 2023 – Golf Course Advisory Board Meeting
July 24, 2023 – City Commission Budget Workshop
July 31, 2023 – Special City Commission Meeting and Budget Workshop

Office of the City Manager
Citizens, business owners & other interested parties:
As a follow up to comments shared in the Office of the City Manager update in the May, 2023 FYI, it is a genuine pleasure to finally be able to report that the City’s request for $11,000,000 in state funding to upgrade and expand Clewiston’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) survived the Governor’s final veto actions on the approved FY 2023-2024 legislative budget.

MILLION IN THE UPCOMING STATE FISCAL YEAR!” This is outstanding news for the
City and all of its utility customers. Not only does the City now have cumulatively $14 million in approved federal and state grants to address this essential critical infrastructure project need, but the City will be able to do so without borrowing public funds which is the method by which most municipalities out of necessity typically utilize to complete such major capital projects.

Case in point, fifteen years ago when Clewiston built its reverse osmosis water treatment plant, the City borrowed approximately $14.5 million in the form of a federally subsidized U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to complete the project. The City continues to pay the debt service on that forty year term loan today. It is not uncommon to receive some grant funding for a portion of total project costs, but such assistance is not always available. The City did receive $2 million in federal grant funding to assist with the project as well as $3.9 million in state grant funds at the time that benefited the water system and the City’s obligations related to loan reserve requirements.

By municipal standards, it is certainly rare when borrowing can be entirely avoided. This
achievement allows the City’s already municipally competitive low water and wastewater
customer rates to remain un-impacted by this capital project. By comparison, other municipal utility systems have seen wastewater rates more than double when new WWTP projects are completed with traditional funding formulas including a substantial amount of long term debt costs.

As previously stated, Clewiston’s state legislative delegation of Senate President Kathleen
Passidomo and House of Representatives member Lauren Melo deserve a huge amount of credit for championing this massive victory and for all the other successes Clewiston has realized in recent years on other important initiatives that have also received legislative funding. Now the work begins in earnest to proceed with required design, permitting and construction elements of the WWTP project. The City’s staff and consulting engineer have initiated discussions of project next steps and the City Commission discussed the matter at their recent workshop meeting held on June 19. The Commission had the opportunity to personally thank Representative Melo for her efforts as she was in attendance at the workshop to highlight the funding included in the approved state budget for Hendry County projects including the Clewiston WWTP project.

Time is certainly of the essence to press forward with this detailed project process as it is expected to take at least 36 months to complete depending in large part on the typically deliberate state regulatory review and permitting process timetable. Upon receipt and Commission approval of the required state grant agency funding agreement in the coming months, the City will engage an engineering firm for design and initiate the formal process for a state permit request to expand the existing plant treatment capacity. With the previously reviewed private sector residential, commercial and light industrial development interest in and around Clewiston, this WWTP upgrade and expansion project is not only timely but essential as development plans proceed to meet the community’s wastewater treatment needs now and into the future.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in the City of Clewiston.
Randy Martin

Staff Reports

Recreation & Leisure Services Director Lauren McGinnis reports:

• The Grand Re-Opening of the C.S. Mott Pool was one of our favorite events we have had
to date! Getting to celebrate such a huge step with the community was so much fun. We
had more than 400 of you come out and enjoy the pool and all of the festivities for our
Grand Re-Opening. Bringing life back to our pool was no small task, but with the help of
our community partners, local businesses, and private donations the pool is back and better
than ever! We have new sun chairs, umbrellas, and tables for the whole family to enjoy.

• Since opening, the donations have continued to come in, with one person purchasing our
lifeguards fans to keep on the stands with them so they don’t over heat. We had another
citizen pay the entry fee for the next 20 people who came to the pool! We have had so
many people call and ask how they can help and support us, and for that we cannot thank
you all enough! The support from each and every one of you is helping us more than you
know! If you haven’t had a chance to make it out to the pool yet, please stop by! Entrance
is $5 for everyone who is swimming. We also now have drinks and popsicles that can be
purchased to help beat the heat!

• Our annual 4th Of July Fireworks and Family Fun event was a success again this year! We
added some fun new games and delicious food trucks this year! We were so happy to see
that more than 300 of you came out and enjoyed the show. We hope to keep adding and
making the event bigger and better every year!

• We will be spraying round up to help us get rid of the weeds, bug killer to get rid of the
ants and beetles, and fertilizing the grounds at Sugarland Sports Complex. If you plan to
use the fields please make sure to take the proper precautions and do not be alarmed if
everything looks dead, it’s just part of the process! If you would like to use the fields but
have found the gates locked please call the Youth Center to find out how you can gain

• We are currently working on renovating our parks! We will be treating the grounds for
unwanted plants, fertilizing what we do want to continue to grow, and treating the insects.
Please be cautious if you see that we are treating the grounds. We will be removing some
of the old equipment in the next month. If your playground looks empty that means we
have some fun new things coming your way! If you see something that needs repairs or
replacing please let us know.

• We have upgraded our facility rental process to make it fully digital. This includes a new
information sheet that will help us prepare a more accurate quote, and help us find the
facility that will best serve you for your event.

•  Our facilities are almost completely booked for the 2024 year, with several dates now
having a waiting list! Don’t wait, if you are thinking about hosting an event at one of our
facilities or parks give us a call today to see what we have to offer.

• On top of our wonderful events this past month, our recreation support, maintenance, and
sports complex staff has been very busy all across the city! Some things you may have seen
and some you may not have, here is what we have been up to this month:

Youth Center
o  We are open for students to enjoy our building from noon – 4:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday.
o We have added new Xbox games and board games for your students to enjoy!
o We have added new art supplies and a cart for students to use.
o We host the YMCA summer camp daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
o Youth Center hosted 1 private rental event this month.
o Chickee Hut hosted 2 private rentals this month.
o Staff processed 20 rental requests this month.
o Staff built and installed storage systems for youth programs and rental supplies.
o Staff replaced the rental equipment housing rack.

John Boy Auditorium and Beardsley Room
o We hosted 2 mobile food pantries this month.
o We hosted 3 private rentals and 1 corporate rental this month.
o Staff repaired leaks in the roof.
o Staff assisted with cleanup after lift station failure.
o Staff continues to perform cosmetic touchups to paint and flooring throughout the
building to maintain the facility for all rentals.
o Staff continues to check all park equipment in Sugarland Park and Sweetest Town
Playground weekly to ensure no equipment is in need of servicing.
o Staff assembled festival equipment used during both the Grand Re-Opening and the
4th of July celebrations.
o Staff continues to inspect all parks and public areas daily picking up debris and
litter so that residents can continue to enjoy a clean and beautiful space.
o Staff sprayed Round-Up to help maintain weed control throughout all parks and
public spaces.
o Staff cleaned and sanitized outdoor restrooms at: Youth Center, Lake Okeechobee
Boat Ramp, Sugarland Sports Complex, and Trinidad Park daily.
o Civic Park hosted a public rosary prayer rental.
o Sweetest Town Playground Pavilions hosted 3 private rentals.

Sugarland Sports Complex and Park Pavilion
o Sugarland Park Pavilion hosted 2 private rentals and 1 corporate rental this month.
o Sugarland Sports Complex hosted the City of Clewiston’s Annual 4th of July
Fireworks Event.
o Staff spent 68 hours mowing the fields.
o Staff spent 22 hours string trimming fields.
o Staff watered the fields for 50 hours.
o Staff spent 10 hours raking clay on fields.
o Staff spent 31 hours mowing the fields.
o Staff sprayed round up on fields to help control weeds.
o Staff spent 15 hours manually removing weeds and invasive grasses from fields.
o Staff checked parks and fields daily to help pick up all litter and debris from any
public area.
o Staff spent 9 hours preforming maintenance work on machinery; including
changing blades on ground master and mowing machines.
o Staff repaired sprinklers on 2 fields.
o Staff pressure cleaned the pavilion for rentals.
o Staff repaired fencing around multiple fields for a total of 8 hours.
o Staff prepared the complex for 4th of July Fireworks and family fun event.
C.S. Mott Pool and Splash Pad

o C.S. Mott Pool hosted a Grand Re-Opening Celebration with over 400 attendees!
o For the month of June the pool had over 1500 patrons.
o The YMCA and Little Disciples have enjoyed their contracted private swim times
at the pool throughout the weekday mornings.
o Staff installed new furniture and umbrellas for patrons to use.
o Staff assembled office furniture for the lifeguards and office staff to use.
o Staff assisted in pool and facility maintenance including pool chemicals and
painting the building.
o The splash pad hosed 2 church summer camp rentals.
o The YMCA continues to enjoy the splash pad on non-pool swim days.
o Staff checks splash pad daily to ensure drains are clear and the park is clean for
everyone to enjoy.
o Staff adjusted wiring for splash pad time clocks.
o Staff addressed a clogged drain at the splash pad.
• We want to hear from you! We are working on organizing more family fun community
events, and we would love to know what you would like to see. No idea is too big or small,
we want it all from video game tournaments to movies in the park and everything in
between. Please send any ideas or recommendations to

If you are willing to donate and/or sponsor and event or activity please reach out.

• If you have any pictures enjoying any of our parks or facilities that you would like to share
please tag us on facebook or email them to We love to
see our community enjoying the many spaces we have to offer.

Library Director Natasha Hayes reports:
• Library staff provided ready reference/computer assistance, circulation activities, and
patron programming to 2,013 patrons this month.

This month’s programming activities have included:
o Ms. De La Torre from Southwest Florida Public Archaeology Network was invited to
the library on June 6. Children and families enjoyed stories and crafts. Thank you so
much for coming back to our library, Natalie!
o Anime Club & Manga Club programs were held every Monday and Friday. This month
teens learned how to draw chibis, about Japanese culture, and enjoyed their time
chatting with other anime fans.
o On Tuesday, June 13, we had an awesome time with Lindsey Dank from Didgeridoo
Down Under. During the show, Lindsey played a variety of exotic didgeridoos and
worldly percussion instruments. The program was very participatory and several
segments involved kids playing instruments and dancing. There were a total of 58
o Gaming Club was held every Tuesday with a total of 62 participants. Tweens and teens
learned competitive gaming techniques and socialized with other video game lovers.
Make sure to join us for tweens and teens programs happening all summer to win cool
prizes and have a fun filled summer.
o Steam Sphero Bolt programs were held on June 14, June 21, and June 28. Children
learnedto  draw and block coding, how to control the robot’s movement, and problem-
solving skills. Congratulations to our friend Ian who solved the maze challenge by
programming the Sphero bolt.
o Crafternoon Diamond Painting was held on June 16. Tweens and teens had a great
time learning how to make a vivid and shimmering work of art!
o On Tuesday June 20th, we had an absolute blast with Out of My Hands. Mr. Tricarico
performed juggling, illusions, and light-effect juggling stunts. We had a total of 96
o The Friends of the Clewiston Library Book Club met on June 21 to discuss “All the
Light We Cannot See ” written by Anthony Doerr. There were a total of 11 participants.
o Thank you to everyone who participated Tuesday, June 27th, as we had a total of 71
participants. The children and families had an absolute blast making their own
creations out of clay, enjoyed building with bricks, and commanding the Sphero
o As we head into the seventh week of our Summer Library Program, we want to say
“THANK YOU” to our incredible community partners who have given their resources
and support generously to help ensure the success of our summer reading program…
o Check out some pictures from this month’s Summer Reading Programs! Funding for programs provided by local and state aid funding.

Highlighted Programs and events:
• ShowTime ForKids: ALL ABOARD! Join us Tuesday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m. as we hit
the rails on a fun-filled zany adventure in search for the Loose Caboose. During our
adventure we will make a few stops where we will see awesome laugh-out-loud magic,
hilarious audience participation, and meet a few new colorful balloon friends along the

Summer Library Program continues to be a big hit. Be sure to stop in and visit us every
Tuesday at 10 a.m. until July 25th for our summer reading program and presentations. Our end of summer event on July 25th will consist of a magician, Showtime For Kids, arts & crafts, board games, snacks, and book bag giveaway

Anime and Manga Club
o In-Person (Open to 6th-12th graders): Anime Club meets on Friday July 2t at 3:30 p.m. Come hang out and chat with other Anime fans. We will be watching anime provided courtesy of Crunchyroll and talking about your favorite manga.
o Via Zoom: We invite tweens and teens to join us every Monday at 3:30 p.m. To
register, email to receive Zoom log-in information. If you
are under 18, please be sure to have a guardian’s permission to participate in this
online event.

• SHINE (Serving health Insurance Needs of Elders) and Area Agency on Aging-
Southwest Florida will be hosting virtual classes for anyone interested in learning more
about Medicare! To register for upcoming webinars, email or
call 863-983-1493.
• If you have not done so already, please join our Facebook page (Clewiston Public
Library) in order to remain up to date on the library’s events and programs.
• Please stop by the library to pick up a calendar with a list of events and programs so you
can join in on the fun.

It’s road trip season! Did you know that the Libby App is compatible with services like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? Download the Libby App now and have some great stuff to listen while you travel!

Dates to Remember:
• Monday, July 17
o Monday Movie Madness at 1:00 p.m.
o Manga Club at 3:30 p.m.
•Tuesday, July 18
o Ancient Graffiti with Southwest Florida Public Archaeology Network at 10:00 a.m.
•Wednesday, July 19
o Craft Corner: DIY Kawaii Squishy Keychain from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.
o DIY Craft: Paint by Numbers (Adult Program) at 5:00 p.m.
•Thursday, July 20
o STEAM: Smart Train at 3:00 p.m.
• Friday, July 21
o Virtual Reality at 2:30 p.m.
o Anime Club at 3:30 p.m.
•Monday, July 24
o Monday Movie Madness at 1:00 p.m.
o Manga Club at 3:30 p.m.
 Tuesday, July 25
o ShowtimeTime ForKids: The Loose Caboose Adventure at 10:00 a.m.
o Arts & crafts, board games, snacks, and book bag giveaway at 11:00 a.m.
•Wednesday, July 26
o Craft Corner: Diamond painting Keychain from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.
o DIY Craft: Paint by Numbers (Adult Program) at 5:00 p.m.

Golf Course Director Robbie Rush reports:
•Get all information of what’s going on at Clewiston Golf Course Facebook.
•Get on our E-mail list by going to the City of Clewiston Website. Go to the golf course
division and at the bottom of the page you can sign-up on Constant Contact and get all
Clewiston Golf Course information.
•Rates have changed to Summer Rates. Non-members $34.10 Plus Tax 18 Holes and $17.05
Plus Tax for 9 Holes. Pay for 18 holes and play as many as you want in the same day.
•Golf Shop Hours are 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The first tee time is 8:00 a.m. Carts are due in at 7:00 p.m. daily. The golf course is open Tuesday - Sunday and closed Monday.
• Advertise a Tee Sign out on the golf course. If you are interested in advertising your
business at the golf course call 863-983-1448.

•The Driving Range has a new token machine now. Get your tokens in the golf shop.
•Golf lessons and Club Repair are available at the club from PGA Professional Robbie Rush.
Contact golf shop at 863-983-1448.
•Clewiston Golf Course can supply all your golfing needs. You can inquire in the golf shop
for whatever merchandise you need.
For more information call the golf shop 863-983-1448

Community Development Director/Fire Chief Travis Reese reports:
• As hurricane season kicks off, now is the time to repair and prepare. Repair any damage to your home and property; check your roof, siding, windows and fencing for any loose or
damaged spots. Prepare your hurricane supplies by checking batteries and emergency radio, stocking up on non-perishable food, water, medications, and first aid supplies.
•Clewiston Nursing and Rehab emergency repairs are nearing completion, we are hopeful that the residents may start returning next week. Long term repairs will continue over the next few months.
• Alan Jay purchased the property at 210 W. Sugarland Hwy., which was once home to Blue Cane Ale House. They have since demolished the 6,510 square foot building to make way for additional parking for their new showroom which is currently under construction.
• Planning and Zoning Board Chairman Lewell Hughes announced his retirement from the board after faithfully serving for 29 years.
• New one and two family dwellings will now require exterior emergency disconnect per NEC code 230.85. Clewiston Utilities has had this as a requirement since 2007, now the rest of the country has caught up with us.

Code Compliance Supervisor Debbie Clay reports:


We’ve all seen the occasional property that lets its lawn maintenance go to the point where tall weeds and overgrown bushes seem to be the only features on the lot.

It makes the property very unattractive, unsightly, and also harbors rodents and other vermin that are both unsafe and unhealthy for our residents and visitors. These conditions create a greater potential of fire hazard during our dry months.

Overgrown weeds, bushes, trees, grass and vegetation on improved property within the city shall be maintained at a height of less than eight inches and shall prevent encroachment upon sidewalks, easements, and alleyways which create potential traffic safety hazards. Trimming vegetation to improve visibility is one of the most effective ways you can enhance traffic safety in your neighborhood.

All shrubs that overhang any street or sidewalk on the property must be maintained. The branches of any tree extending over any public sidewalk, street or other public way should be trimmed so they do not obstruct vision of the travel of motorists and people. Overgrown trees and shrubs endanger us all when they block our view of traffic signals or signs, obscure street lamps and fire hydrants.

A well-maintained yard is also an effective crime prevention tool. Lawns that are not being cared for give criminals the impression that the property is unattended and might be an easy target.

Did you know that the City of Clewiston has municipal codes that pertain to weeds, overgrown lawns, shrubs and hedges? Also, there are codes which assign the duty of responsibility for the maintenance of easements, right-of-ways, sidewalks and alleyways to the abutting property owners.

These ordinances are in place to increase the livability, safety, desirability and appearance of all of our neighborhoods.

The complete City of Clewiston Ordinances are available online and may be accessed utilizing the City of Clewiston website: or Municode Library website:

If you have any questions about how to achieve/maintain compliance with these or any other City of Clewiston Ordinances you may contact our office at 863-983-1454 extension 309 or Code Compliance Supervisor:

Debra Clay
Community Improvement Division

Police Chief Tom Lewis reports:

Police Department

NEW EMPLOYEE – Please help us welcome our newest addition to the Clewiston Police
Department family. On Monday, June 12, 2023, Melina Vasquez-Godinez was hired as our newest Communications 911 Dispatcher. She is a local resident and a proud graduate of Ms. Petersen’s Criminal Justice program! We are excited to have her here.

ACCREDITATION – Over the last 23 months, we have been working hard to prepare the police department to be accredited for the first time in the 98- year history of the city. We are very pleased to have secured three subject matter experts from around the state to provide our agency with a three-day mock assessment in September to better prepare us for the official state assessment. The dates of December 12-14, 2023 are our official
accreditation assessment dates. During this time, the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will send a team of subject matter experts to the
Clewiston Police Department for a three-day on-site assessment. This accredited status will show the public, whom we proudly serve every day, that every aspect of our operation is operating under best practices and outside experts get a continuing first-hand look at our operation.

Animal Services

In the month of June 2023, Animal Services reported the intake of more than 89 cats, 48 dogs, 1 pig, 1 fox, 1 rabbit and 1 turtle.

On June 1, 2023, police department staff finished the installation of 30 automatic dog watering systems at the animal shelter. The cost of the systems was $4,000.00 and was donated/purchased by a volunteer from Naples, Florida. These systems will provide our
animals with fresh water 24/7 and they are wall-mounted, keeping them much cleaner.

As kitten season has started, residents that are replacing bath towels or other linens can donate old ones to the shelter. These donations make our animals’ stay a little more comfortable before they find their way to their forever home! We encourage everyone to stop by and take a look at what your tax dollars are doing – and maybe even find a new face to bring home.

On June 15, 2023, the police department staff finished the building of two new 8-foot by 16-foot shade structures in the animal shelter play yards. With the summer heat ramping-up, this is a great addition to keep our animals even more comfortable.

Highlighted Training
On June 1, 2023, Detective Williams completed a two-day course on Investigating Cases of Child Homicide and Unexplained Deaths of Children. The training was offered by and hosted by the Cape Coral Police Department.

During the week of June 5, 2023, Officer Rebecca Wood attended a week-long course on Child Exploitation. The class was offered free of charge and was hosted by the Southwest Florida Public Safety Academy in Fort Myers, Florida.

During the week of June 5, 2023, multiple members of the department attended relative portions of the Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents training. The training was offered free of charge by the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and was hosted by the Hendry County Emergency Management in LaBelle.

On June 24, 2023 and June 25, 2023, Sergeant Demetrius Scruggs and Officer Lionel Conyers attended the Firearms Instructor Update course. This state-mandated course was grant-funded and hosted by the Southwest Florida Public Safety Academy in Fort Myers, Florida.

During the week of June 26, 2023, Accreditation Manager Ashley Smith attended the CFA
Accreditation Conference in Orlando, Florida. This week-long conference focuses on all
accreditation standards and is packed with training courses needed to stay up-to-date with best practices around the state.

General Services Director Williams reports:
 Electric Crew Activities:
o set pole behind Clewiston Middle School
o repaired (5) underground services
o changed pad mount transformer (1) and (2) pole mount transformers
o replaced (3) poles on 7th Street
o repaired street and security lights
o supervised contractor removing vegetation from power lines
o spliced broken wire on Alabama Street
o ran new underground service on Alverdez Avenue
o straightened pole on Francisco Street
o changed poles (2)
o hung banner for Juneteenth festival
o repaired two traffic lights
o repaired street light wire at Clewiston Middle School
o replaced terminator at Assembly of God church
o disconnected service for building demolition
o removed old pole

Water Sewer Crew Activities:
o Repaired numerous (5) valve leaks/water line breaks,
o replaced (13) water meters with new AMI meters, replaced meter boxes to
accommodate larger meters
o performed Lift Station inspections (50)
o replaced water filter at Della Tobias Avenue (3) and flushed line
o assisted contractor with the lift station rehabilitation project, and assisted FDEP
inspector with interim on-site inspection

Customer Service Department
o Your Utility partners with customers to bring renewable power to the electric grid. If
you’d like to learn more about net metering, please visit the FTC consumer information
site at .
o Please remember to register with CodeRed (Reverse 911). This system allows us to
contact you in case of an emergency or with other informational announcements. You
may register by clicking on the CodeRed link at the bottom of the City‘s website page . You may update your information at any time through the
same link.
o If you are considering replacing your air conditioner or attic insulation, remember the
City offers a rebate program for those items. Most local contractors participate in the
program and can give you more information. You can also visit our website at or call our office.
o IT’S LIGHTNING SEASON! Don’t forget to sign up for your meter based surge
protection! Visit our office today.
o ONLINE BILL PAY IS AVAILABLE on our web site at or

 Facility Maintenance:
Air condition repairs (8)
Plumbing repairs (2)
Electrical/Lighting repairs (4)
Roof repairs (4)
Routine maintenance to air conditioning units

Other work:
•  rekeyed locks
• installed security cameras and completed repairs to the CS Mott pool. Many thanks
to the Clewiston high school for donating two tables for the poolside picnic area!
• prepared the foundation for an emergency generator for the Utilities building.
• Street Division:
• debris and shopping cart collection
• landscape maintenance
• pot hole repair
• street sign and guard rail repairs
Staff is putting stop bars back into place where they are needed.

Solid Waste:
Solid waste and recycle material collection is ongoing. If you’d like to schedule a special
pickup service, please call the Public Works Department at 983-1471

 Central Garage:
The City of Clewiston is searching for a qualified Mechanic 1 to perform necessary repairs
and routine maintenance of city vehicles. Please visit our website for more information: