All Members, Winter Residents, Family and Friends, 

          Good day!  Well Vacation Bible School for this summer has reached it’s midpoint.  We have had between 85-95 kids each day which is a good number and much easier to handle.  I am not involved at all this year except for listening.  Our team is great!  

          Well not that you may be led to believe I am not doing anything I have been hard at work trying to understand the New Fire Assessment that the county is putting on all of us homeowners, property owners and yes faith based organizations.  I have provided for you below a summary of the 5 ½ hour meeting last night.  Earlier yesterday morning and a week ago yesterday we had meeting with other pastors.  In the process I met with two of the commissioners in person and one on line.  So I was asked to speak on behalf of the Lake Placid Christian Ministerial Association.

          Pray for our District as we enter into Convention Friday evening at 6:00PM with our opening worship service.  We will be in convention until Sunday!!!

                   Mr. Steve Bradshaw is our Lay Representative and I am the Pastoral Delegate. 

I have not heard anything about the Cell Phone Tower/Cross I am beginning to think it may not be coming.  

          I did submit my preliminary proposal for the Kaleidoscope grant from LCEF.  Have not heard anything yet.  They are reviewing them now.  

                   (I have received information that if we do the modifications we want we will probably have to add a sprinkler system to the building. FYI)

          Just a reminder that there will be no Bible Study on Sundays until Sunday August 5th, 2018! 

          We great familiar preacher on Sunday at 10AM.  

          Deacon James Olckers will be with us here on July 1st and 8th, 2018!  So don’t miss worship!

Here is the summary of the H.C.B.O.C.C. meeting!  

After a nearly 5 ½ hour meeting I believe the commissioners are heading in the right direction for giving churches and faith-based organizations some relief.  I spoke on behalf of the L.P.C.M.A. having 5 minutes but they gave me another minute to make our case you could say.  I did ask for a complete exemption right at the very beginning.  Mentioned that churches and faith-based organizations had been place in the  “Institution Category” which is the highest assessed rate at 0.21 cents per square foot.  I say our because I took what was said in two different meetings with many of the area pastors and tried to boil these ideas down to a 5 minute plea.  

          The commissioners did not take a final vote at this meeting, they continued it until I believe July 10th.  

Here is the Readers Digest version. 

A motion was made to have county staff prepare budgets based on implementing the assessment at 50%, 60%, 70% and 80% of the proposed 6.5 million dollar first year budget.  Then the assessment would be increased 10% until they get to full implementation at 100% for EVERYONE.  

Within that proposal it was determined that the commissioners can reduce the rate a percentage for those in the “Institutions” category if they are not subject to non-advolorum taxes and are 501-3C organizations (Churches).  Such entities will have their rate reduced a certain percentage to essentially equal .06 per square foot down from .21 cents per square foot.  

          Additionally I spoke to an individual this morning who is going to look at all the “Institutional” properties owned by churches and TRY to reconcile all the different categories to reflect all property owned by a 501-3C (church or religious entity) so they all reflect one category.  

          

As an example we have 1,450 square feet in commercial buildings and 8,450 square feet in institutional combined into institutional square footage of 9,905 our assessment would drop from full implementation at 100% at .21 per sq. foot $2220.15 a full implementation at 100% of 594.30 and if they start the first year at 60% the first year cost would be $356.00 for Trinity Lutheran Church.  

          If you think this is confusing, it is and your should have been at the meeting.  I want to thank those of the LPCMA who came out to the meeting.  

          Nothing is final but this is the way they are heading.  We will see what happens.

          Just as a reminder for those of you who own property here in Highlands County each empty land parcel has been assessed $30 and each residential $106.00 to start with. 

Have a great remainder of your week!!!!