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Community council votes to hold zoning hearings

November 29, 2017
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Community Council will add zoning requests and related issues to its monthly meetings starting next year.

On Nov. 20, the council voted unanimously to push back its regular meeting start time from 6:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for zoning hearings prior to each meeting. The change goes into effect in January.

"If we go forward with those meetings, we will have to meet a little earlier to allow enough time to hear zoning requests and other issues," council President Rick Anglickis said.

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Rick Anglickis

In addition, the Lehigh Acres Street Lighting District has an upcoming meeting to discuss budgets, areas of need and new lighting installation sites, according to Vice President Mohamed Yasin.

The council also heard about Incorporate Lehigh's first town hall, held Nov. 4.

"We had a decent turnout with about 42 attendees," Joan Cunningham, president of the group, said. "There were also some great questions asked during the meeting."

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Incorporate Lehigh has received the first draft of the feasibility study. According to Cunningham, the initial numbers look good.

"We owe $3,000 towards this portion of the study and really need to pick-up fundraising efforts," she said.

The group will hold its next meeting in January, with the details to be announced.

Dr. Amanda Sterk, director of dual enrollment at Florida SouthWestern College, was invited as a guest speaker to share information with students planning on going to college, as well as their guardians.

She presents a program called College UnMazed, which can help students reach their financial goal. Last year, it yielded $10 million in scholarships for students.

"I'm working with FutureMakers Coalition. It's a local collective impact initiative that seeks to increase post-secondary degree attainment and support the families we serve," Sterk said.

According to Sterk, the main goal is to increase degrees and secondary education paths, thus creating better opportunities for local families. There are even scholarships available for those seeking to go into skilled trades.

"Many scholarships go unclaimed, which is really sad,. A lot of local companies donate money towards these student scholarships," she said. "The problem is that the majority of families and kids don't know they exist."

According to Sterk, more than $1 million in free student aid went unclaimed last year.

Some on the council were not shocked by the figure.

"I'm not surprised that there is a lot of money left unclaimed," Anglickis said. "No one is letting these kids know what's available to them prior to leaving high school."

Sterk noted that she writes an online blog that offers information to students on how to find scholarships and how to apply for them. For information, visit www.futuremakerscoalition.com.

An update on the post-Irma recovery efforts was provided. The council agreed that most of Lehigh has seen a huge step forward in the debris removal and cleanup since last month's meeting.

The council's next meeting is Dec. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lee County Sheriff's Office East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N.

Visit www.lehighacrescommunitycouncil.com for information.

 
 

 

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