The Apopka Voice has learned that Mayor Joe Kilsheimer sent a letter to the Lake Apopka Natural Gas (LANGD) District Board of Director President Ann K. Dupee asking what its “continuing public purpose” is.
In a letter dated February 8th, 2016 Kilsheimer writes:
“I was elected to Apopka City Council in 2012 and as Mayor of Apopka in 2014. In four years as an elected official - and in nearly 28 years as a resident of the Apopka community - I have yet to see one benefit that accrues to the City of Apopka as a co-owner of Lake Apopka Natural Gas.”
Apparently some in the Apopka Botanical Industry are in agreement.
“The Mayor echoes the attitude of us Nurserymen,” said Larry Metzler, President of Moss Hill Foliage in Apopka. “While the LANGD served a worthy purpose initially when Central Florida was "rural" and the private gas companies were not interested in investing in infrastructure, that is no longer the case. In fact there is probably serious money to be made for the communities that own it to sell off to private industry. We know that there are willing potential buyers in the wings. And they will sell us gas cheaper than LANGD seems to be able or willing to.”
Wayne Mercer, owner of Mercer Botanicals in Zellwood, is even more adamant about this topic.
“LANGD is killing jobs. I have colleagues that have been put out of business because of their inflated prices.”
Samuel Davis, LANGD's General Manager & Chief Executive Officer, confirmed the letter was received.
“As we speak we are preparing a response (to Kilsheimer’s letter),” he said. “We need to provide clarification for certain parts (of the letter).”
Lake Apopka Natural Gas District was established in 1959 to provide natural gas for the use and benefit of the municipalities of Apopka, Winter Garden and Clermont. The District operates under a commission form of government with the commissioners being appointed by the District's member municipalities.
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