Letters to the Editor: May 26, 2022

·5 min read

Huge annexation could more than double Sebastian’s population

Here we go again.

Graves Brothers want to slide nearly 2,000 acres into Sebastian, adding up to 19,000 residences, thereby potentially doubling or tripling our current population. And their friends are back on the City Council so expect to not be heard if you do not want this to happen.

The argument that it will increase our tax base is ridiculous. While F.S. 193.461 states that the AG-1 zoning has to have good-faith commercial agriculture operating to retain its $500/acre max taxable value, reality is that Florida operates on a "see the cow, grant the exemption" system. That means these 1,984 acres will add a taxable value of $950,000 total, or about $19,000 in actual taxes annually or until development “starts.”

The improvements to existing infrastructure will cost you and me millions in taxes just to prep the entire county for this influx, not to mention the cost of repairs to our existing due to the additional abuse from all the construction equipment. Do you think Graves Brothers will be paying that upfront?

And by joining Sebastian, they cut down on what they have to provide for this development. Suppose we currently exceed the required acres of parkland in Sebastian. Graves Brothers do not have to add to that space until they have added so many acres as to make it deficient. I do not know about others, but I like seeing one- to two-acre parks all over the city.

I watched my former city annex three existing areas, doubling their population. All it did was add crime, increase taxes, and destroy infrastructure. I hate to see Sebastian become the Pompano of Indian River County.

Jeff Hamilton, Sebastian


Here's a scenario to help shine a light on what net metering is all about

For people paying electric bills who wonder what the fuss about net metering is all about:

Imagine you have been working at a company for 30-plus years. Commuting every day to the same parking lot. Then your neighbor's kid get hired for the mail room. He shows up in your driveway telling you he doesn't have money for a car so he expects you to drive him. If not he will lose his job.

So, the new rooftop solar panels in your neighborhood are being sold with the same scenario. Businesses are telling buyers, your free electrons will get a free ride to buyers courtesy of the utility infrastructure right outside your door.

Never mind the billions invested and used to operate the grid.

They also say your electricity will go to waste without a free ride. No one mentions the idea of battery storage since the calculus of rooftop sales is dependent on federal subsidy anyway and battery cost isn't going to improve the buyer's position.

So, if you pay your electric bill and by extension pay to own and operate the grid: MAre you going to give the kid a ride to work for life?

Ronald Poppell, Fort Pierce

Port St. Lucie’s new garbage contract will cost ratepayers a lot more

The latest news regarding the garbage/recycle contract change here in Port St. Lucie raises the question of who is getting paid-off and benefiting from the change? Certainly not the taxpayers. Even with the current delayed pick-up problems of Waste Pro, the new contract with FCC Environmental Services Florida comes with over half the services at 50% more than the current cost!

Was Waste Pro given the same bid options as as offered to FCC, and if not why? Whatever the inner politics and disputes between the City Council and Waste Pro, it would seem that the City Council’s business “deal” with FCC is just another example (as the debunked “City Center”) that will cost millions more of wasted tax dollars.

Norman Payne, Port St. Lucie

Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village is a nonprofit organization that is determined to make the area a living celebration of the arts.
Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village is a nonprofit organization that is determined to make the area a living celebration of the arts.

Cultivating the arts in Indian River County: Let's rave about these folks

It seems like most of the letters people write these days are laced with political diatribes and rants about the collapse of our great nation. So I'm just gonna rave. I want to rave about 30-plus local artists. As director of the Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village, I'd like to personally thank all the artists who donated their fine work for the purpose of helping revitalize the historic downtown community of Edgewood, home of the Vero Beach Art Village.

This past weekend, Friends of the Art Village met at Raw Space Gallery on Dixie Highway with the intent of celebrating art, culture and community — especially community.

The following artists participated in this event: Yoli Calo Arrano, Britt Bair, Katherine Bauman, Robert Brulotte, Jenn Bonaventura, Paula Dallaire, Minakshi De, Mike and Roz Duflo.

Jean Gall, Deborah Gooch, Xaque Gruber, Rene Guerin, Christopher Gunkle, Annie Horkan, Charles Howse, Gage Irving, Cory Janiak, Regan Kenyon, Peter Laughton, Mark Kirby, Terri Martin, Sheila McAvoy, Dawn Miller, Sally Mitchell.

Mary Lou Mullan, Michelle Nevaeh, Katie Pauley Ross Power, Ginny Piech Street, Maria Claudia Revadeneira, Myrna Renkert, Pamela Siddall, Barry Shapiro, Maria Sparsis, and Quentin Walter.

The Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village are committed to expanding the cultural landscape of Indian River County. Without their help, this event would not have been possible. We thank them for their generosity and service.

John Ryan, Vero Beach, is the director of Friends of the Vero Beach Art Village.

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Letters to the Editor: May 26, 2022