OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - With high hopes of creating new jobs and bringing in more business, a new livestock auction market could soon be built in Okeechobee County. However, some neighbors are of a different mind, and fear the changes the market could bring to their quiet neighborhood.
According to a report from Okeechobee County, Cattlemen’s Market would conduct livestock auctions daily.
Cattlemen’s says with the high population of cattle in the area, the need is there for the market. The proposed market site would cover about 100 acres along the north side of 160th Street between 441 and U.S. 98.
The site is right near the Otter Creek neighborhood, where many families call home.
"This is a peaceful, quiet area,” said Colleen Harty, who has lived in the area for the past two decades. “It will be noisier, the lights will be on well after midnight. The light pollution is going to kill any good view of the stars plus the noise, it's all going to be ridiculous."
Harty is just one of many neighbors who spoke with NewsChannel 5 about their concerns, including what they fear is the added traffic that would pass by just feet away from their homes.
“This is a rural road, not a major highway," Harty added. "Someone's going to get hurt and hurt bad."
Neighbor Amber Lindstrom agrees and fears a loss of property value. She and her husband bought their home in Otter Creek four years ago.
“There's plenty of pasture out there, plenty of land out there that isn't in the middle neighborhood. This is our neighborhood."
Cattlemen’s says if the market is built, it would be the first livestock market established in Florida in more than four years.
Okeechobee County officials tell NewsChannel 5 that they are waiting to be given a site plan from Cattlemen’s before construction can start.