Lee County commissioners prepare agencies for population growth

Lee County workshop on Tuesday. (WINK News photo.)
Lee County workshop on Tuesday. (WINK News photo.)

It’s no secret: Southwest Florida is booming.

With population growth set to increase significantly over the next few years, Lee County is preparing agencies to serve the growing population’s needs better.

James Penkszik has lived in the Cape Coral for 20-years. He said he visits the hospital frequently.

“I go to the doctor about twenty times a year,” Penkszik said. “That’s not the short term. It’s more long term for me cause I’ve had a heart attack and now I have a pacemaker.”

Penkszik said happy Lee County wants to build eight more Emergency Medical Services stations.

During a workshop Tuesday, commissioners covered a variety of topics, such as the economy, water quality and transportation. But, public safety seemed to strike a nerve with everyone.

“We’re going to see probably a 67 percent increase in the amount of folks who are 65 plus in Lee County,” said Brian Hamman, a Lee County Commissioner.  “That’s a population that traditionally uses a lot of EMS services.”

Other agencies may also see a boost.

“As the county grows we have to provide services throughout the county that includes the sheriff’s office, tax collectors office, supervisor of elections, clerk of courts and property appraisers office,” said Cecil Pendergrass, a Lee County Commissioner. “All the constitutional offices would see increases in services, so we have to expand those services to facilitate the needs of the community.”

Making the adjustments to prepare for those changes could prove to be beneficial in the long run.

“As those populations grow, those would be great opportunities for us to look at, locating ambulances.”

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