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Municipal district to look further into street lighting power

By Staff | Oct 30, 2019

The Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District has moved one step closer towards the possible assuming of street light powers.

Currently the Lehigh Acres Street Lighting Unit is overseen by Lee County and is paid for via property taxes.

The board on Oct. 21 voted in favor of an initial $10,000 study to examine the feasibility of taking of street lighting powers from the county.

“This study will help us to determine what the assessment would look like if we took over street lighting. If we did assume that power, the current Lee County ad valorem tax would be shut down, and replaced with LA-MSID’s non-ad valorem system within the same budgeted amount,” District Manager David Lindsay said.

The district’s board of commissioners also approved an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to accept a grant in the amount of $1.97 million from the State of Florida.

“Part of the money, $970,000, came out of the FDEP’s water quality grant fund. The remaining $1 million came from Gov. DeSantis’s Recurring Everglades Restoration Fund. The $625 million dollars in recurring funds is to be used for the restoration and protection of Florida’s water resources. That money will go towards our Phase III construction of the West Marsh,” Lindsay explained.

According to Lindsay, the first two phases of the project, involved the excavation process. A step completed by Florida Department of Transportation who used the excavated dirt for the widening of State Road 82.

“The work performed was valued at approximately $20 million dollars,” Lindsay said. “With Phase III, our portion of the work is to build water control structures, culverts, measurement stations and provide native planting. The county has asked for 13,000 trees and 130,000 aquatic plants. We are hoping to begin this phase in January 2020 during the dry season.”

When completed, the West Harns Marsh will look similar to Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres, with several types of eco-systems; restored wetlands and new trails for residents to enjoy.

The board also approved other agenda items including an AIM Engineering contract; a renovation permit for Shuman Insurance Office on 4622 Lee Blvd; a Comcast cable bore under Sailfish Canal and LCEC’s overhead crossing over Wahoo Canal.

The Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District holds its regularly scheduled meetings at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. Meetings are held at LA-MSID, at 601 East County Lane. For information, visit www.myecwcd.net