LAKELAND, Fla. - The Lakeland City Commission is hammering out its budget for next year, but one issue still remains undecided -- a new fire station.
Residents in Southwest Lakeland have been pushing for a new station since the start of the year after a house fire in the Carillon Lakes subdivision revealed a slow response time.
Most on the city commission agree a new fire station is needed, but debate over how to pay for it remains.
The city is holding town hall meetings Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week to get more feedback from the community.
“We’re hearing from Carillon Lakes, we’re hearing from those who live in the Southwest Lakeland area, now the commission would like to hear from those on the north side, and those on the south side,” said Kevin Cook, City Spokesman.
This spring, the commission came up with a plan to build a new fire station at the airport to serve under-protected Southwest Lakeland.
There are three options to pay for the new station -- either raise taxes, raise water rates, or cut services.
The city could also chose to do nothing and wait until 2017 when a new fire station is actually in the budget.
If the board decides to raise property taxes, it would be an increase of a half of mil. That equates to anywhere from 15 to more than 100 dollars extra per year, depending on your current tax bill.
Town hall meeting Tuesday night scheduled for 6-8pm at the Sandpiper Golf Club Clubhouse. Wednesday night’s meeting is set for the same time at Cleveland Heights Golf Club.
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UPDATE: The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.