State lawmakers hold town hall meeting Thursday in Stuart

Posted at 7:16 AM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 16:22:08-05

Martin County residents are letting their voices be heard Thursday.

Several lawmakers are holding a town hall meeting to hear from the public prior to the legislative session in March.

Senate President Joe Negron, State Representatives Gayle Harrell and MaryLynn Magar are among those in attendance.

The algae crisis was a main topic at the meeting, with Negron vowing to take action to prevent similar algal blooms in the future.

"I think we need to have additional water storage capacity south of Lake Okeechobee, there are also some other issues with converting septic tanks to sewer systems and other things we need to work on.  But I'm going to be real focused on having options other than discharging the water into our community," said Negron.

The delegation on Thursday voted unanimously to move forward on two bills requesting the incorporation of Hobe Sound and Indiantown.

Hobe Sound & Indiantown Could Become Incorporated

Two unincorporated communities of Martin County are pushing to become towns.

Hobe Sound and Indiantown both received preliminary approval from the Martin County Legislative Delegation.

This means bills will now be presented to the Florida House and Senate for review.

If the chambers pass the bills, voters will ultimately decide whether to be incorporated.

"We've discussed incorporating Hobe Sound for over twenty years but there were financial problems with it," Michael Ennis of Protecting Hobe Sound said. "Now that we can share services with the county the financial problems went away."

"All we've ever wanted was just the opportunity to have a vote to determine for ourselves," Brian Powers, a business owner in Indiantown said. "This doesn't mean that we're incorporated it just means we'll get to have a vote on it.

This bill is just one of dozens the Legislature will consider starting in March.