Fruitland Park, Lady Lake, Leesburg to Claim Unincorporated Parts of Lake County

Fruitland Park, Fla. — Commissioners voted last week to invite Leesburg and Lady Lake to help identify parts of unincorporated Lake County that might eventually be annexed into one of the three municipal jurisdictions.

Lake County will also take part in the negotiations.

City attorney Scott Gerken explained to commissioners that the invitation—Resolution 2013-18—follows Florida Statute 171.203 to establish a so-called Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement.

Fruitland Park promised Lake County almost two years ago it would call for the Agreement.

“We are required to do this,” Gerken told commissioners. “We haven’t any choice but to begin the process,” he said.

Leesburg earlier invited Fruitland Park to join a similar Agreement to claim unincorporated areas south of Fruitland Park and west of Leesburg. Gerken said the separate planning sessions might combine some discussions.

The Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement is a bureaucratic tool that helps local governments plan for costly services such as police, fire and utilities—electric, water and sewer—within designated areas.

Resolution 2013-18 specifies a rather large area—“everything north of Leesburg, south of Lady Lake and east to the Sumter County line,” Gerken said.

Areas within a municipality might one day be annexed, Gerken said, but that’s not sole the purpose of the Agreement.

“The Agreement determines where boundaries would logically be drawn for providing city services in the future in the most efficient manner,” Gerken said.

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