Lee commission highlights successes

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

LEESBURG -- Citizens of Lee County had a large chunk of their yearly wish list granted during 2009, according to an update provided by Lee Commission Chairman Ed Duffy.

Noting the completion of such projects as the renovation of the county's old high school into the T. Page Tharp Governmental Building, completion of Phase 1 of a new animal shelter, the badly needed resurfacing of Old Smithville Road and a balanced budget that did not include a tax increase, Duffy said the projects came to fruition because of the daily efforts of dedicated employees.

"As 2009 draws to a close, the Board of Commissioners would like to express our appreciation to the citizens of Lee County for allowing us to serve you," Duffy said. "We can all agree that Lee County is a great place to live, and the Board -- along with county staff -- is committed to continued hard work to make it an even greater place."

Other '09 projects highlighted by Duffy include:

-- The opening of the Cedric Street Extension connecting Lovers Lane

and Old Leesburg roads;

-- Creation of a census committee;

-- Coordination of a pair of river clean-up projects;

-- Securing $2 million in state funding for a library/conference center;

-- Obtaining stimulus grants to help resurface portions of Pinewood

and Philema roads;

-- Authorization of the paving of Flowing Well Road;

-- The awarding of $800,000 in state funding to improve a truck route along Robert B. Lee Drive and U.S. 32;

-- Authorization of road improvements in downtown Leesburg;

-- Facilitation of the construction of the Publix shopping complex at U.S. 19 and Forrester Parkway;

-- Construction currently under way on a new fire/EMS station near Smithville.

"You can see from the list of projects that 2009 has been a busy year," Duffy said. "And while new capital projects are exciting and demonstrate that the county continues to move forward, they are only a small portion of the work that takes place on a daily basis.

"The county is fortunate to have an outstanding group of employees who provide a wide range of services such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, full-time fire protection, road and bridge maintenance, animal care and protection, clean and safe drinking water, recreational opportunities, a well-run judicial system, residential garbage service, an exceptional library system and a health department."

Duffy said the Commission is committed to continuing its work in 2010.

"We pledge to the people of Lee County that we will work to be good stewards of your assets, to make the county more customer-focused and to continue to seek ways to be more efficient," he said. "On behalf of the Board, we wish the citizens of the county a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."