Lehigh Town Hall raises questions on crime and development

Deborah Souverain, Fox4

A Town Hall meeting in Lehigh Acres tackled issues from sidewalks to crime, as state and local officials readied themselves for a new year.

The event was hosted by the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LA-MSID) which serves as the community’s water management authority.

Monday’s meeting was the fifth town hall organized by LA-MSID. Residents were met by county commissioners, along with State Senator Kahtleen Passidomo, and State Representative Matt Caldwell.

Longtime residents raised concerns with the community’s fast growth; which often surpasses economic and urban development.

“We need so many things done here, like sidewalks, more street lights,” said Venita Prescott, who has lived in Lehigh for 25 years.

“It’s mostly good, but some of it’s bad. You get some bad with the good. we’re getting bigger, and bigger so some bad elements are moving in as well as some good,” said Dale Smith, Lehigh resident of over 40 years.

Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass told Fox 4 commissioners are working on improving the negatives. He says the Lee County Sheriff’s office has received $5 million in additional funds in 2016 to increase patrols and emphasize safety.

“We improved the funding to make sure that there’s funding there so that we can provide that public safety to Lehigh Acres. also with transportation, repaving a lot of roads we increased the funding for that,” said Pendergrass.