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Updated: 10/17/2013 08:00:03AM

Water management board wants town to cut usage

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The Town of Lake Placid’s water use permit is up for renewal from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The water district is offering a 20-year permit and suggesting that the town reduce its use totals by 50 percent.

Councilman Ray Royce expressed concern over the suggested reduction. Current use is well under current permitted water use, he said, and the reduced quantity would still be above current and near future estimated use.

Royce said he believes water district’s board of directors is trying to close a gap between actual use and permitted quantity. It shows, on paper at least, a “savings” in water use. The problem is that once the permitted quantity is reduced, it is difficult to get it back when an increased need arises.

The Town Council approved a motion for Town Administrator Phil Williams to look further into filing application at current use quantity.

In other action:

• The Highlands County Fire Prevention Bureau gave a presentation on fire protection services for the town. Councilman Steve Bastardi raised the issue of fire inspections required when the use of a building changes in a more hazardous use. The council will review the current interlocal agreement between Highlands County and Lake Placid to review level of service being provided with an eye to increasing specific requirements to trigger a fire inspection when the use of a facility changes. It was recommended, due to his interest in the subject, that Councilman Mike Waldron work with Williams in this effort and provide a list of suggested additions or revisions to the agreement.

• Two ordinances were heard on first readings. The ordinance for creating a Watershed Advisory Board was approved with some wording changes and a legal review by Town Attorney Bert J. Harris III prior to a final reading. An ordinance repealing and restating Chapter 95 — Business Tax — was also approved with a process for triggering a fire inspection to be included prior to the second reading.

• Nancy T. Sanders, a member of the Lake Placid Historical Society board, asked assistance in getting street lights repaired near the Train Depot Museum. At issue is the ownership of the lights. The source of power for some of the lights is within the Train Depot. This implies that the lights are owned by the Historical Society. The Society is researching whether the lights are, or are not, on town property. The council expressed interest in helping with the lights but action was delayed until information is complete on ownership.

• A bid was approved for building batting cages for Lake June Park; a resolution regarding Lake June Illinois pondweed to strongly encourage determination of the cause of the recent explosive growth of the pond weed in Lake June-In-Winter; and to renew the town’s agreement with Harris for services as the Town Attorney. Also, Mayor John Holbrook recommended that the temporary status of Williams as Town Administrator and James Fansler as interim Chief of Police be changed to permanent status. The recommendation was approved with great support from all town officials present.