Local News

AP council to consider referendum on Lacey Hills annexation.

AVON PARK - Lacey Hills residents may soon get a chance to vote in support or against the annexation of their subdivision by the City of Avon Park. The city council will hold the first of two public hearings Monday on an ordinance regarding a referendum election to held on Sept. 17. Only the registered voters who live in the Lacey Hills subdivision would be eligible to vote. City Manager Julian Deleon said he is excited about the process.
"It is the first time that we have ever utilized this procedural mechanism, which is available in state statute to annex large tracts of developed area," he said. The area considered for annexation is located south of Earnest E. Sims Street, north of Garrett Road, east of South Lake Avenue and west of Cummings Avenue. The approximately 43 acres has 161 parcels of land, including 92 improved properties. The city provides water and sanitary utility service to the area, according to a staff report. City garbage collection revenues for the area are estimated at $19,656 and the city would receive about $15,051 annually from fire assessments, according to a staff report. The area is not projected to change from its existing residential character, the report states. The proposed ordinance notes that voter registration books will remain open until Aug. 19. A second public hearing on the referendum ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 12. The annexation would become effective upon the approval of the referendum by a majority of the voters. Council approved the first step in the annexation process in November, which required the city to file an annexation report with the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners for a 15-day period. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826