Thank you to all of the first responders, utility crew members and volunteers who have helped take care of our community in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Our crews are currently performing normal duties and are working to remove debris from canals and rights-0f-ways. Please be patient during this recovery period.
Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District is a multi-county, multifaceted Special District Agency. From roads and bridges, to a stormwater management system comprised of lakes, canals, and complex monitoring equipment; to parks and passive recreation in our waterways and lands, to community projects, Board of Commissioners guide the agency in a direction best suited to help the communities in which it serves, making it the vehicle for the future of Lehigh Acres.
In 2015, Legislators passed Chapter 2015-202 F.S., which allows Lehigh Acres MSID to study new powers in limited areas such as: sidewalks, street lights, and community signage, local planning and water and sewer services for the betterment of the community. The potential for additional powers—sidewalks, street lights, community signage, local planning and water and sewer— is not automatic. Lehigh Acres MSID must first enter into an agreement with Lee County and then present the community with a referendum vote in a regular general election to exercise any new powers.
Lehigh Acres MSID, through the efforts of dedicated elected officials and employees, delivers the highest quality in services; provides a fair and orderly system of governance; and protects the area’s environmental and community resources. LA‐MSID is dedicated to preserving and managing natural and community resources by providing: safe, reliable, and high‐quality services to its constituents in an environmentally and financially responsible manner.
LA-MSID’s expansive infrastructure is a crucial element to protecting, serving, and bettering the Lehigh Acres community. Our water management system is crucial in moving water to meet varying conditions and needs is essential to sustaining the local environment. However, it is our complex network of culvert-crossings, bridges, and roadways which work to make accessibility easier for residents within Lehigh Acres. Our stormwater treatment areas provide ideal recreation spots for residents and visitors alike, while providing necessary drainage and flood control.
LA-MSID District preserves and protects water reserves through drainage, conservation, mitigation, navigational and water management practices in 70,000 acres of land in both Lehigh Acres and the western portion of Hendry County.
LA-MSID currently maintains 311 miles of canals, 20 lakes, 360 culvert crossings, 22 bridges and 66 water control structures. LA-MSID maintains 1298 preserve acres as well as 578 acres of Harns Marsh—a major retention/detention area.
The special legislative act dissolving the East County Water Control District (“ECWCD”) and creating the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (“LA-MSID”) was approved by the Governor on June 10, 2015. Therefore, all motions, resolutions, and other documentation or references relating to the District should now refer to “Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District” instead of to “East County Water Control District.”
Questions? Contact our office at 239-368-0044.
Representing Lehigh Acres – Legislative Update
Members of the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District’s Board Of Commissioners and the agency’s District Manager met with Senator Lizbeth Benaquisto, Senator Kathleen Passidomo and Representative Matt Caldwell, during the Legislative Update on January 17, 2018, to discuss issues affecting the Lehigh Acres Community. The group was joined by Robert A. Dilallo, Fire Chief, Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District. Together these representatives are taking a collegiate approach to safeguarding the future of the Lehigh Acres community.
LA-MSID a Vehicle for Lehigh’s Future
The Board of Commissioners Passes Resolution, with Legislators’ Support, on its Role if Incorporation Occurs
At its Dec. 11 meeting, The Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District Board of Commissioner unanimously approved Resolution 18-03, to grow its powers as outlined by state law and serve as the foundation for municipal incorporation.
Chairman Michael Welch noted the Resolution expresses the Legislators intention to eventually create a city in Lehigh Acres that grows out of the LA-MSID.
Welch stated this resolution outlines the roles and responsibilities of LAMSID presently and the roles and responsibilities we would have when Lehigh Acres incorporates.
The Legislature took the first step in paving the road to incorporation, by restructuring LAMSID as a municipal services district in 2015. In LAMSID enabling legislation, the Florida Statute allows the district to provide up to five new powers, including signage, planning, streetlights, sidewalks, and water and sewer, following a fully-executed agreement with Lee County and a voter referendum.
Currently, LA-MSID is negotiating with the county to provide signage via a special inter-local agreement, with a referendum planned for the 2018 November election.
In the days following the December 11 Board Meeting, Senator Lizbeth Benaquisto and Representative Matthew Caldwell signed the resolution, showing their support as the next logical step towards incorporation.
On Thursday, December 14, LAMSID held its annual Town Hall Reception where elected officials provided a snap-shot of recovery, growth and happenings in the Lehigh Acres community. Senator Kathleen Passidomo signed Resolution 18-03 in a special ceremony recognizing the importance of LAMSID role in the growth of this community.
“As the population and the taxable value of Lehigh Acres continue to grow, LA-MSID will continue to work with Lee County to expand its powers,” Welch said. “When the time is right, LA-MSID will be the political vehicle to petition the state and affected voters for the municipal incorporation of Lehigh Acres. The municipality would originate, reorganize, grow and operate from what is now known as the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District.”
Welch noted that the Board of Commissioners for LAMSID were voted-in by the people of this community and are charged with looking out for the well-being of its constituents, the growth and improvement of municipal services and facilities within its purview.
June 1, 2017
A Word From Sheriff Mike Scott:
A complaint I hear often from residents in Lehigh Acres and elsewhere in our County centers on all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s); whether it’s the noise created near residential neighborhoods or the damage caused as riders tear up canal banks and create their own paths.
ATV riders frequent areas of Lehigh including North Sunshine Boulevard, the Greenbriar community, and the State Road 82 corridor.
My deputies are teaming up with the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LAMSID) to prevent the further destruction of public land. We have conducted several operations recently to educate ATV riders on the law. Now the “education” phase moves to the “enforcement” phase.
Encounters with ATV riders ignoring the law will now result in something more than a “friendly reminder”, to include arrests for criminal mischief; damage to public lands; and obstruction of public drainage ditches and canals.
The Florida Department of Agriculture lists public and private lands across the state that permit ATV usage. You can find them by clicking on this link.
Sheriff Mike Scott
LAMSID Annual WOW Festival Packed with Free, Fun, Activities
Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LA-MSID) is hosting its Eighth Annual Wings Over Water (WOW) Festival on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Harns Marsh to help the public discover the beauty of southwest Florida’s water, land and wildlife.
The annual festival celebrates southwest Florida’s natural resources and includes presentations from experts, an array of exhibits from local organizations, kids’ activities, food, and a rubber duck race. Admission to the festival is free of charge.
LA-MSID’s mission is to preserve and protect the water resources within its boundaries. In the early 1980’s, the agency transformed the 578-acre farmland into an active stormwater facility, Harns Marsh, to filter water and reduce flooding to the Orange River. The water control structures have helped create a lush habitat for snail kites, limpkin and more than 160 species of animals. Harns Marsh is located in the eastern portion of Lee County located off of Sunshine Blvd. in Lehigh Acres.
“The WOW Festival showcases to the importance of LA-MSID’s mission and provides a unique opportunity for community members to connect with local organizations and experience nature through an array of interactive experiences,” said Michael Welch, Chairman of the LA-MSID Board of Commissioners.
The WOW Festival Community Day on Saturday, January 20, 2017 has grown to include more vendors/exhibitors, plant sale, kid’s activities and more!
The WOW Festival will host a variety of on-site activities from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. including lectures from experts; exhibitions by wildlife and education-related organizations and businesses; plant sale; the rubber duck races by Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties to raise fund for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event; food and beverage sales, children’s activities, free blood pressure checks by the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District; numerous educational exhibits by local organizations and businesses etc
Festival Day Speakers include:
- Mark Renz, is a fossil guide and author of numerous books on Florida fossils. “How to Find Fossils In Florida.” Mark will discuss being prepared, knowing what to look for and will showcase some of his fabulous local finds!
- SWFL Reptile Rescue, Inc.
And much more!
“We receive positive feedback from event surveys each year and helps grow our ability to showcase the great work of local environmental and community groups,” said David Deetscreek, Vice-Chairman of the LA-MSID Board of Commissioners. “For our eighth annual event, we have ramped up the educational offerings and activities and look forward to the continued participation of Lehigh Acres residents and businesses.”
The event is made possible by the generous support of Mosaic, AIM Engineering and Surveying, Inc., Public Risk Insurance Agency, Brian and Barbara Cottrell, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, Audubon Society of Southwest Florida, Caloosa Bird Club and Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties.
For more information, visit www.wingsoverwaterfestival.com. Getting there: From Lee Blvd. head north on Sunshine Blvd., turn left on Olive Ave. N. and then turn left on 38th St. W.; and continue to Harns Marsh.
Presentation of Award to Chairman Michael Welch
During the November 13, 2017 Regular Meeting, the Board of Commissioners adopted a Resolution Honoring Chairman Welch for his efforts on behalf of the District and the Community during Hurricane Irma.
FEMA Community Service Day September 21, 2017
Chairman, Michael Welch spent the day at the comprehensive recovery assistance center in Lehigh Acres at Veterans Park. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Rubio’s and Nelson’s staff was available on site help residents affected by Hurricane Irma sign up for assistance from FEMA. Application checklists are available in English and Spanish. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patron is will host an insurance village comprised of property insurance companies at each location to provide on-site assistance to policyholders to file a claim, ask questions and obtain needed insurance assistance and information. This is a public/private partnership of federal and state agencies, charitable organizations and companies gathering to provide critical resources.
Chairman Welch is pictured above with representatives from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s office as well as representatives from Catholic Charities.
LA-MSID Earns “District of the Year”