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Council to discuss road repairs, street lighting
July 12, 2017

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The Lehigh Acres Community Council will discuss plans for millions of dollars the county has allocated for road resurfacing and construction in Lehigh Acres, as well as street lighting.

It will meet on July 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lee County Sheriff's Office East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N. Residents are invited to attend the open meeting.

Lee County set aside $5 million per year for the next five years for road improvements.

The Lee County Commission approved a contract with a 5-0 vote and plans to use the funds to resurface residential roads and streets that are damaged or non-existent in Lehigh. Mohamed Yasin, the council's vice president, said it is the largest amount ever allocated for local repairs and paving.

"Residents who have roads in need of repair are urged to call the DOT (Department of Transportation) or county," he said.

Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann spoke on the topic at the council's meeting in May. He explained that any funds not used on road improvements at the end of each year will be lost.

Yasin explained that the county is estimating nearly 60 miles of roadway on 300 different streets in Lehigh will be resurfaced by the end of the project

Another topic on the meeting agenda is the budget for street lighting improvements.

Lori Borman, coordinator with the county's Municipal Services Taxing/Benefit Unit, will speak about the proposed budget for the project, as well as the designated sites in Lehigh for new street lights.

"A couple of years ago, certain spots were sectioned off by priority. These spots include places where kids assemble for school in the morning," Yasin said.

In addition to the agenda, the council will discuss fund-raising efforts being taken to research the possibility of incorporation, including a recently announced feasibility study. The goal of the study is to enable all involved parties to make an informed decision on whether Lehigh is ready for the step.

Joe Mazurkiewicz, president of BJM Consulting, will perform the study.

Officials noted that he performed a previous study in 2007.

"Mazurkiewicz is extremely experienced in this area, having done numerous feasibility studies in the state of Florida," Yasin said.

The feasibility study will be conducted in three phases. The first and most important phase is the financial analysis, which will look at what Lehigh's financial position will be after five years. Officials noted the key is to make sure incorporation would not negatively impact businesses and citizens.

BJM Consulting has been given a retainer fee to begin the study, according to Yasin.

However, the council is still working on ways to raise the additional funds, estimated at $27,000. Community involvement is strongly urged, and residents are asked to participate in the discussions.

"We encourage those in the community who want to be part of the process to come to our next meeting," he said.

For more information, contact the Lehigh Acres Community Council via email at Info@LehighAcresCommunityCouncil.com or visit: www.lehighacrescommunitycouncil.com/.

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