News Update for 7/11/18

It cost tens of thousands of dollars and was a year in the making. But in the end, Highlands County Commissioners last night went against the advice of their attorney and largely scrapped a Government Services Group plan for a fire assessment.
Instead, commissioners made up their own payment schedule that roughly parallels percentages found in the GSG report. The new levy calls for four-cents, per square foot, per year for homes with a cap of $115. Higher rates were set for commercial, industrial and institutional properties.
Commissioners say the plan will bring in about $5-million a year for the fire services.

Major players in Highlands County will get together this morning with officials from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for another visioning session. The topic will be a familiar one – how to improve the economy here.
Reportedly, the state has identified a dozen counties that have been having financial troubles since Hurricane Irma swept the state. Two dozen representatives of various state agencies are slated to show up for the so-called “roundtable discussion.”
Municipal and county officials are expected to be joined by large employers to find out what resources they may be able to get out of what has been termed “The 12-County Initiative.”
The session will be held at the Bert J. Harris Agri-Civic Center this morning commencing at 10am.

Law enforcement agencies across the county have been posting videos of their officers mouthing the words to popular rock, rap and country songs hoping to go viral in what is known as “The Lip Synch Challenge.”
Now, Lake Placid Police Chief James Fansler has added a new wrinkle – saying his department will submit a worthy video -IF – they receive 120 bags of school supplies for needy kids in the upcoming school year.
Fansler promises “an epic video” if the goal is met. The collection will start this coming Monday.