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Council to host public forum with fire chief on upcoming referendum

April 24, 2019
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The upcoming referendum placed on the ballot by the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District was the topic of discussion at the Lehigh Acres Community Council meeting on April 15.

The referendum proposes a new type of assessment methodology, which proponents say will stabilize the district's revenue and distribute the share of costs more evenly. It would allow the district to better uphold the required county standards for readiness of emergency fire, rescue and other services to residents, officials say.

According to Fire Chief Robert DiLallo, who will be on-hand for the council's public forum being held next month on May 6 at 6 p.m. Part of the increase in revenues would be used towards the construction of a new station, and its staff, which is a necessity for the fire district which recently failed to meet Lee County's ordinances with ambulance service. Now the district must come up with a way to reduce response times to keep its ambulance service agreement the county.

'This is an important forum that Lehigh Acres citizens should attend to get accurate information on the fire district's referendum on a new assessment, which will be on the upcoming ballot on June 4. It's a question-and- answer session were residents can talk about the referendum and become more informed prior to voting," said Council Vice-chair Tyler Woodby.

The referendum is on a special assessment methodology that attempts to more evenly share the costs by charging up to $165 per parcel on a vacant lot, plus increments for improvements on each parcel. This would alternately fund the fire district and more evenly distribute fees to both vacant and built-out parcels of land, officials said.

Another important local initiative discussed during the meeting was Benches For Our Babes, a local group whose main goal is make sure the kids in the community are safe while waiting for the school bus by placing benches in areas where children wait to be picked up.

"We need to send a message of support in coordinating, building benches, dropping off benches at stops, and donations. Anywhere there is a bus stop, they are working to get it there as quickly as possible. We are excited that the group's organizer will be joining our council next month," said Woodby.

The council also discussed minor changes to the bylaws.

"Currently we are working to change our election process to make it more in line with other organizations," Woodby said.

The council also will host its blood drive on May 5, inside the Lee County Sheriff's Office parking lot off Homestead Road.

"The blood drive runs from noon until 6 p.m. There will be some giveaways, plus it's a great cause. People who do not want to wait in line can go to our Facebook page and reserve a spot on our sign-up sheet," said Woodby.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council's meetings are open to the public and will now be held on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the meeting room at the LCSO East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N.

Those who would like more information on council meetings or the public forum can visit



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