74.8 F
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Explosion of growth in Ocala

To the Editor:

I totally agree about the population explosion in Ocala, Florida, and I have no idea what draws them here. I lived in Florida for 15 years when my husband decided we were moving to his home town in Illinois, population 489. I wasn’t at all happy about it.

A few years go by and he passes away. I was working at that time, traveling all over the country for a large trucking company. I wanted to move back to Florida then. However, the job and family situation prevented that. Plus, at that time it would have been a bad move for my job.

Anyway, I’m now retired and all immediate family is gone. No one left. So moving back to Florida to be close to cousins seemed practical, and I did. I’m sorry I did this in several ways. There are many, many more people, and it seems there’s no such thing as snowbirds anymore.

We no longer have an off season. The population has exploded. Taxes and the cost of living are so much higher that it’s putting a real strain on my budget. Medical care is extremely poor; not the quality it used to be for sure. Plus, the weather here is no longer pleasant. It’s so much hotter than it was when I left in 2001. Traffic is horrible.

I’m seriously considering leaving and going to the mountains in Tennessee where it’s more comfortable and the cost of living is more affordable. Moderate weather. Lower taxes, much better medical care, and plenty to do. But, no family of any kind there is making that decision tough.

I can honestly say that I don’t like the explosion of growth here at all. Ocala used to be a great smaller community but that is forever gone. Money-hungry developers have taken over and, additionally, I don’t care for the monopoly that Publix is creating.

Carol Pickens
Ocala resident