FELLSMERE – Residents of the City of Fellsmere have learned that their mayor hunts gators, that the city is under siege from outside powers and that mud-bogging at MESA Park couldn’t get out of the mud.
Looking back at these stories since VeroNews.com launched in mid-July, we can tell which articles and topics were of the most import. And we’d like to share those with you in our half-2009 Year in Review.
Susan Adams: Fellsmere mayor by day – gator hunter by night, posted Nov. 1
Fellsmere Mayor Susan Adams and her friends spent one of the last days of gator hunting season in search of a monster. What they got was a 7-foot-3-inch gator in the Blue Cypress.
“I’d never done it before,” she said of gator hunting before this season. “By no means am I an expert gator hunter. I don’t even pretend to be. I’m probably one of those weekend warriors that the real gator hunters go crazy about.”
Green Flight International, of Apopka, has secured two acres of city-owned land off Willow Street where it will plant experimental crops of elephant grass and energy cane, which will be harvested to feed algae. That algae would then be processed, extracting its oils to become a liquid alternative to petroleum.
Local businesses were put on alert Wednesday by the Indian River County and Sebastian River Area chambers of commerce after $70 worth of counterfeit bills were apparently passed at a convenience store in Fellsmere.
The manager at the Fellsmere Food Mart, Rita Turner, said that some time last week someone passed both a $50 and a $20 to one of her cashiers. The $50 was made of two pieces of paper and the $20 was waxy.
Treasure Coast Motorsports received the city’s blessing to offer mud-bogging events at MESA and, in the process, claimed it would generate $200 million in regional economic impact with sporting events and residential development in the years to come.
Fellsmere has had its fair share of battles this year, locking horns several times with Indian River County government officials – mainly over money. The city has taken the county to “code enforcement court” over fire hydrants, given the county notice that it will take care of its own fire inspections, and most recently, found out that the county plans to ask state leaders not to have to pay as much into the city’s redevelopment fund.
Fire hydrants, too, were a big issue for the city and continues to be. A code enforcement judge has ruled that the county violated the city’s code for not paying for the maintenance of the city’s 100-plus fire hydrants.
The most recent battle to flare up between Fellsmere and the county has to do with redevelopment funds. The county has said it plans to talk to members of its legislative delegation in Tallahassee and ask that the rules governing how much the county must pay be changed.
The county is recommending cutting the funding by 20 percent, which Fellsmere leaders say would cripple its redevelopment effort. The issue could impact the City of Sebastian, which also has a redevelopment area.