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Fire district joins MSID on assessments agreement

Both agencies vote in favor of resolution

December 6, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

The fire district's board has tentatively approved a proposed agreement between it and the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District over special assessments levied by both agencies.

At the Nov. 28 meeting, the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District's board discussed the acceptance of a resolution on a pending lawsuit filed by the LA-MSID. The board voted unanimously to accept the agreement, pending a final review by the board's attorney for some minor revisions.

"No paperwork has been signed, but we both have agreed to the terms of the resolution," Fire Chief Robert Dilallo said. "Presently, we are just finalizing the paperwork."

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Fire Chief Robert Dilallo

The MSID's Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Nov. 13 to approve the resolution. The agreement would make neither agency responsible for paying the fees levied by the other agency.

The issue of the two vacant seats on the commission also came up at the meeting.

In July, Gov. Rick Scott suspended Robert John Anderson from his seat on the fire board pending two separate felony cases against him. About the same time, Commissioner Matt Smith passed away.

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"The commissioners are in agreement with the need to fill the seats, but some feel that the public should make the final decision once the issue comes up," Dilallo said.

A decision on whether to fill the seats was tabled to be brought up at the next meeting.

Commissioner Linda Carter brought forward a proposal for a salary change for the commissioners. Currently, the board receives a $250 monthly stipend compared to the $500 statutory maximum.

"They agreed to move the vote forward to their next meeting, which would allow them to notify the general public of the increase, as per the legal statue," Dilallo said.

The board took a 50 percent pay cut in 2009, along with the rest of the fire district.

"The commissioners currently receive $250 a month, but would like to go back the original $500 a month they earned more than 10 years," Dilallo said.

The fire board also discussed revising the current fee schedule, which was last updated in March 2012. The proposed changes reflect costs associated with construction and annual fire inspections, responses to nuisance false fire alarms activations, and a new process to access for illegal burning and arson fires.

Ken Bennett, assistant chief of the Life Safety Division, brought forward the proposal

"We have certain fees for things, such as fire alarm checks and inspections," Dilallo said. "Every year we need to update these fees."

The board decided to make some revisions to the proposal, then put it on next month's agenda.

Officials reported that things are coming along with getting Fire Stations 101 and 102 back into operation. Both the stations suffered significant damage months ago during Hurricane Irma.

"We now have temporary housing at Station 102 in place and 101 should be in service later today," Dilallo said.

He noted that the FEMA is still assessing the damage to the stations.

"It's going to take several months to get any word on whether the two stations are repairable or even salvageable," Dilallo said.

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District board will hold its next regular meeting on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. at Station 104, at 3102 16th St. S.W.

For information, call 239-303-5300 or visit



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