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Council's Corner: Goal of incorporation is to put power in community’s hands

June 21, 2017
By COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF LEHIGH ACRES , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Community Council has consistently held open discussions regarding incorporating the community. The members of the Community Council feel the timing is favorable to examine incorporation and have voted to have extensive studies of all phases of incorporation completed to make sure it is done legally, professionally and profitably to improve the community. An investigative committee has been formed and met with a well-known consulting firm to begin the feasibility study.

The feasibility study will be completed in three phases. The first and most important phase is the financial analysis, which will detail Lehigh Acres' financial position after five years. For all involved, the need to assure that this will not negatively impact our residents and business owners is key. Allowing residents to control the future land use, enhance our community's environment and quality of life would be the goal of incorporation.

An initial goal of incorporation would be to maintain a minimal level of staffing where ever possible. Municipal services would be contracted, based on the cost effectiveness and the ability to provide a desired level of service. The intent would be to work with the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District and Lee County Government to continue services provided. Law enforcement would remain a function of the Lee County Sheriff's Office with the levels of service maintained as at present.

The Florida Governmental Utility Authority would stay the same until the state feels Lehigh Acres is financially ready to purchase the utility company, keeping in mind several improvements need to be made to the water system.

A city manager rather than a mayor may be an option to conduct the day-to-day operations of the community. A community elected city council and mayor could assist making decisions on some of the issues. The point being the city manager would be in control, not a mayor. The city manager would be required to have previous experience as a city manager to be hired.

A not-for-profit corporation is being discussed and may be formed. All documents will be posted on the Lehigh Acres Community Council website at: lehighacrescommunitycouncil.com for the public to view and bring up ideas and questions. The council wants the entire community involved in this process and hopes the residents will participate in the council meetings held the third Monday of each month at the LCSO East?District substation on Homestead Road at 6:30 p.m.

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The council is asking our millennials to communicate their desires for the future of Lehigh Acres. A discussion was held hoping leaders from this younger group could form their own committee - Lehigh Acres is your community and your participation is a vital part of the incorporation effort.

If you would like to be a part of the incorporation process, know the facts and what is being discussed come to the council meetings. Committees are being formed and decisions are being made - be a part of it.

The Community Council of Lehigh Acres serves as the voice for unincorporated Lehigh Acres.

Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the LCSO East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N.

To contact the council, email Info@LehighAcresCommunityCouncil.com.

 
 

 

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