The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Commissioners worked through a busy agenda during their June meeting on Tuesday, approving an additional resolution related to the proposed Simplified Fire Assessment, discussing the District’s current growth, and commending the staff for continuing to provide exceptional service to the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed change to a simplified fire assessment methodology will be on the primary election ballot on August 18, 2020. Resolution 20-06-02 provides advance notice and direction concerning the impact of the passage or failure of the August 18, 2020, Simplified Fire Assessment ballot question.
The below notice is excerpted from Resolution 20-06-02. The resolution can be read in full at www.lehighfd.com.
If the ballot question passes on August 18, 2020, so that the new simplified fire assessment is approved, the District will likely be able to afford to continue the current community-oriented assessment exemptions AND the District will be able to fund the building, equipping and staffing of 4 to 6 much needed additional fire stations over the next 10 to 12 years so that the District’s fire and rescue services will improve and the District’s response times will go down.
If the primary ballot question fails on August 18, 2020, the District will likely not have the financial ability to continue to grant the community-oriented exemptions from the District’s assessments that have been granted in the past and the District may not be able to even fund the completion of Station 106 or continue to keep the District’s certificate of need for ambulance services that has been granted by Lee County.
The Resolution also addresses a recommended new assessment exemption for vacant lots that are contiguous to a single-family house that are owned by the same owners as the house and used in conjunction with the house as a larger residential home site than one subdivision lot. A home site that is comprised of multiple subdivision lots, some of which are vacant lots, is defined in the Resolution as a “curtilage” and it is being called the “adjoining residential lot exemption.”
The Commissioners additionally discussed the disappointing news that the Governor vetoed the $1.25 million appropriations bill intended to be used to begin land development for the much-needed sixth fire station as he cut more than $1 billion from the state budget before its approval. In his press conference, the Governor cited present challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic changing the economic landscape from when the Legislature passed the budget in March. Chief DiLallo and the District’s Attorney Richard Pringle cited continued support from Representative Spencer Roach, the bill’s sponsor, regarding the continued improvement of fire and safety infrastructure in Lehigh Acres.
The meeting closed with reminders to the community to remain vigilant when it comes to staying safe, especially through the holiday weekend. While celebrating the holiday weekend, consider using safe alternatives to fireworks for children to avoid home injuries, and take precautions related to the spread of COVID-19.
Meeting agendas for the monthly commission meetings are available at www.lehighfd.com.