Heartland Educational Consortium

The School Board of Highlands County will reconsider the annexation of the Heartland Educational Consortium into the Town of Lake Placid.

AVON PARK — The School Board of Highlands County will reconsider today the Town of Lake Placid’s request to annex the Heartland Educational Consortium after tabling the request to determine if there are any benefits for the district.

The School Board serves as the fiscal agent for the consortium, which is north of Lake Placid at 1096 U.S. 27 North.

At the Aug. 20 School Board meeting, School Board Member Jill Compton Twist asked what are the benefits to being annexed into Lake Placid and School Board Chair Bill Brantley commented that the annexation could change the cost for utility services.

After the School Board tabled the town’s annexation request, Highlands News-Sun asked Lake Placid Town Administrator Phil Williams about the benefits of being in the town.

“We believe that there are significant other benefits to the School Board — and other citizens — being in the town,” Williams said in an email. “We believe that the Town of Lake Placid is well planned, overall looks nice and is well maintained; that we have a responsible wastewater system (the only system that treats sewage to reuse standards); and that our drinking water is really good and safe; that our sign code has led to a better overall look while preserving business owners rights to advertise; and that our garbage and trash pickup is very cost effective.

“Over time, our town has cooperated with the School Board on important matters (closing roads so they have additional free acreage for the schools). Both governments have had a good working relationship. We expect that to continue.”

The Heartland Educational Consortium is a combined effort of six area school districts to offer training to educators and innovative learning programs. It includes the school districts of Highlands, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry and Okeechobee counties.

The School Board of Highlands County’s regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today in the Garland Boggus Board Room, 426 School St., Sebring.

The School Board will have a workshop at 2 p.m. today to discuss and review restorative practices.

The School Board’s special meeting/final budget hearing is scheduled today at 5:05 p.m.

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