INVE NT ORY OF INDUSTRIAL AD VANT J\E S" -
Table of Contents
Part A--Natural Resources
1. Geography 2
2. Climate 2
3. Local Raw Materials 2
Part B--General Economy
1. Population 2
2. Labor 2
3. Retail Market 2
4. Manufacturing Industries 3
5. New Industries 3
6. General Remarks on Economy 3
1. Administration 3
2. Finances 3
Part D-Community Facilities
1. Available Data 4
2. Transportation Facilities 4
3. Power 4
4. Fuel 4
5. Sewage and Waste Disposal 4
6. Water Supply 4
7. Communications Facilities 5
8. Educational Facilities 5
9. Health Facilities 5
10. Recreational Facilities 5
11. Police Protection 5
12. Fire Protection 5
13. City Streets 6
14. Banking Facilities 6
15. Construction and Service Facilities 6
16. Retail Facilities 6
17. Wholesale Facilities 6
18, Housing Conditions 6
19. Hotels and Restaurants 6
20. Newspapers 6
21. Laundries and Dry Cleaners 6
22. Civic Organizations 6
23. Churches 6
OKEECHOBEE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
FLORIDA STATE ADVERTISING COMMISSION
Part A--Natural Resources
Location: Okeechobee is in South Florida, very near Lake Okeechobee. It is
74 miles northwest of West Palm Beach, 111 miles east of Sarasota, and 113
miles northeast of Fort Myers.
Chief topographical features: Flat. River runs through town. Elevation,
approximately 28 feet.
(Based on U. S. Weather Bureau observations at Okeechobee.)
Annual January April July October
Normal temperature 72.5 63.3 70.9 80.8 75.4
Normal rainfall 47.94 1.76 2.44 6.52 4.50
Growing season: Usual date of last killing frost in spring, February 12;
usual date of first killing frost in fall, December 21; average length of
growing season, 312 days.
3. Local Raw Materials
Timber: Pine and cypress are available in immediate vicinity. Boree Lumber
Company is the principal operator.
Minerals: Sand, marl, shell and muck are produced in commercial quantities
Agricultural products: Citrus, tomatoes, sweet corn,
Other: Fish and cattle.
Part B--General Economy
Est. 1949* 1945 19UO 193 21930
County total 4,000 2,919 3,000 3,484 4,129
City total 2,000 1,435 1,658 1,914 1,795
Negroes in county 500 539 556 693 -
Negroes in city 275 115 548
Predominant nationalities: Native-born white.
*Estimate by Okeechobee County Chamber of Commerce.
Apparently no national unions are established in local manufacturing
Female employment: Approximately 25% of the total employment is female.
Approximately 100 females are employed in manufacturing industries.
Approximate hourly wages: Unskilled male, 750; unskilled female, 600; skilled
male, $1.25; skilled female, $1.00. There is no differential in the wages
of white and Negro workers of equal skill.
3. Retail Market
General: Okeechobee is the retail trade center for Okeechobee County,
Brighton in Highlands County, and parts of Martin and Glades counties.
3. Retail Market (Cont.)
1948 Effective Buying Income per family in county, $3,278.*
1948 Estimated total retail sales in county, $2,171,000.*
1948 Estimated retail food store sales in county, $571,000.*
1948 Estimated retail general merchandise store sales in county withheld
to avoid disclosure.
1948 Estimated retail drug store sales in county withheld to avoid
*Copyright 1949, SALES MANAGEMENT Survey of Buying Power. Further reproduc-
tion not licensed.
4. Manufacturing Industries
General: Number of manufacturing establishments, 2; total manufacturing
Principal manufacturing industries: Markham Brothers, food; City Ice and
Fuel Company, ice.
5. New Industries
Four packing houses are now in operation for packing and shipment of
6. General Remarks on Economy
Cattle production is one of the most important factors in the economy of
this area. Tomato growing is taking a firm foothold and attracting big
business non. Commercial fishing supports a minimum of 100 families at
Officials: Mayor, H. H. Raulerson; City Attorney, G. C. Durrance;
President of Council, R. E. Chandler; Councilmen, Alto Watford, Sr.,
T. H. Nix, M. M. Martin, and Bruce MacDougald.
Zoning: Council was preparing a zoning ordinance and modifying the building
code at the time of this survey.
Current city tax rate: Operations, 5 mills; debt service, 15 mills.
Average city tax rate for last five years: Operations, 25 mills; debt
service, 75 mills.
Total assessed value of real property in city: $350,000.
City utility tax: 10%.
Other major city taxes: None.
Current county tax rate: Operations, 20 mills; debt service, 10 mills.
Average county tax rate for last five years: Operations, 20 mills; debt
service, 10 mills.
Bonded debt: City, $670,000; county, $1,000,000.
Other long-term obligations: None,
Part D-;-Community Facilities
1. Available Data
Maps: City street, water main and aeaer main maps are available at city
2. Transportation Facilities
Railroad: Okeechobee is on a main line of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad,
which has four passenger and two freight trains daily. Pick-up and delivery
for less than carload freight is not available.
Express: Railway Express Agency, Inc., provides rail express service.
Direct air express service is not available. Free pick-up and delivery
for express is available.
Highway: Florida Highways 15 and 70 pass through Okeechobee.
Local bus service: None.
Intercity bus service: Greyhound Lines provides bus transportation.
Intercity trucking facilities: Tamiami Trail Tours, Inc. serves South
Air transportation: Morrison Field, 74 miles away at West Palm Beach, is
the nearest airport.
Florida Power and Light Company owns and operates the generating and
distributing systems. Copies of rate schedules can be obtained at the
Coal: Coal is not used in this section.
Gas: Neither natural nor artificial gas is available.
Bottled gas: D. B. McCarthy distributes butane.
5. Sewage and Waste Disposal
Sewage: Sanitary system covers about two square miles of city. Sewerage
facilities are available to domestic, commercial and industrial users.
Garbage: Garbage is collected three times weekly,
6. Water Supply
Sources: Lake. Present source is considered adequate for expansion.
Treatment: Filtered and chlorinated.
Consumption: 300,000 gallons per day.
Pumping capacity: 720,000 gallons per day.
Per 1,000 Gallons
First 3,000 gallons, $2.50 minimum
Next 25,000 gallons $ .35
All over 28,000 gallons .25
7. Communications Facilities
Telephone service: Inter County Telephone and Telegraph Company operates
a manual exchange.
Telegraph service: Western Union has office hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on
week-days and 10 to 12 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
8. Educational Facilities
Number of schools 1 1
Present enrollment 250 250
Present capacity 350 350
Number of schools 1 1
Present enrollment 60 40
Present capacity 80 60
Vocational training for white students: Commercial subjects and home
Vocational training for Negro students: Home economics.
Other schools: Seventh Day Adventist's School has a present enrollment of
9. Health Facilities
General: Health Clinic operated locally by State.
Hospitals: Louisiani Raulerson Hospital.
.0. Recreational Fapilities
Public parks: City has one large park running through entire length of
city proper, with fully equipped playground for children.
Athletic fields: Football field, covers two city blocks and a softball
field covers one block. Baseball field,
Other: Two tennis courts and one basketball court.
13. Police Protection
City: Force consists of 1 policeman. City has one police car, without
radio equipment. Patrol is maintained at night. City jail is not approved
for quartering Federal prisoners.
County: Sheriff controls protection outside of city. County jail is not
approved for quartering Federal prisoners.
12, Fire Protection
City: Force consists of 1 full-time and 15 volunteer firemen. City has
one engine and one station. Council is in process of buying new fire truck
Insurance rating: SEAU, Class 2; NBFU, Class 7.
County: Fire protection is available outside city limits.
13. City Streets
Mileage: Total, 22 miles; paved, 12 miles; gravelled, 10 miles.
General: Oil and rock is the principal type of pavement used. 20% of the
streets are curbed and 10% have sidewalks. About 50% of the streets should
be rebuilt or extensively repaired during the next five years. Plans are
being made to rebuild some of the city streets.
14. Banking Facilities
Okeechobee County Bank, total resources, $1,305,000.
15. Construction and Service Facilities
Type and number: General contractors, 2; architects, 0; land surveyors, 1;
general machine shops, 3; machine repair facilities, 3; foundries, 0;
automobile repair facilities, adequate.
Other: One complete lumber yard able to furnish complete building materials.
Block plant operated locally.
16. Retail Facilities
Type and number: Dry goods stores, 1I department stores, 1; grocery stores,
5; drug stores, 2; furniture stores, 2; automobile dealers, 3.
Parking: City has no parking meters and no parking lots.
Vacant stores: There are no vacant stores in the business district.
17. Wholesale Facilities
General: Okeechobee is not considered the wholesale distribution center
for the area. Commercial cold storage, commercial freezing and public
warehousing facilities are not available. Wholesale meats, groceries and
candy are available.
18. Housing Conditions
General: Housing facilities are inadequate at present but many are being
constructed to help the situation.
19. Hotels and Restaurants
Hotels: Number, 2; rooms, 125.
Restaurants: Number, 8; seating capacity, 160.
Weekly: Okeechobee News, circulation, 1,000; Okeechobee Herald, circulation,
21. Laundries and Dry Cleaners
Commercial laundries: Number, 1.
Commercial dry cleaners: Number, 2.
22. Civic Organizations
Organization and name of president: Rotary, Dave Coker.
Denominations: First Baptist, Independent Baptist, Primitive Baptist,
Methodist, Church of God, Church of the Bretheren, Seventh Day Adventist,