News Update for 7/30.19

Avon park city council members held a special meeting last night to look at setting tentative tax rates. Those still could come down, depending on how budget talks play out in the City of Charm.
They voted to set the fire assessment at $112 per residence for the upcoming fiscal year. That would be a 40-percent increase over the current $80 levy. All that money goes to underwrite the Avon Park fire services.
Council members rejected an impassioned plea to raise the tentative millage rate from .3 to one mil. Vice Mayor Jim Barnard pointed to personnel and equipment needs of the city. He said such an increase would take his municipal tax rate fro0m seven dollars a year to $20 annually. That idea was rejected on a 3-2 vote.

Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman will be in Lake Placid this evening with deputies from the COPS and ADAPT units to kick off the first of three planned gun buy back programs. That will run from 5-8pm in the Tower parking lot off Highway 27 in the Caladium Capital.
Dubbed “Pieces 4 Peace,” Blackman said the program will be “no questions asked,” and is designed to get weapons off the street. Those turning in guns need to make certain they are unloaded and are secured in a vehicle. A $50 gift card will be offered for each gun turned in to officers.

Sebring firefighters battled both the flames and the weather late yesterday afternoon as they extinguished a blaze. It broke out shortly after 5:30 at the Sebring Public Works barn on Hawthorne Drive.
Authorities say the warehouse was loaded with equipment and fuel.
The incident occurred during an afternoon thunderstorm with heavy lightning. Reportedly, most of the contents of the building were saved. No injuries were reported. No cause or dollar damage estimate has yet been released.