LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The battle over whether or not the city of Cape Coral has the legal authority to institute a Fire Assessment waits on a judge's decision. The assessment, according to City Manager John Szerlag, is needed to raise approximately $12 million to fund fire safety in City. On Tuesday, citizens, acting as their own attorneys, argued that the proposed assessment is illegal and is not necessary. Throughout the day the citizen attorneys, which included former city councilman Bill Deile, called witnesses and cross examined witnesses called to the stand by the city's legal team. Some residents who watched the proceedings from the courtroom gallery believe they will lose either way. The taxpayers of Cape Coral are paying for the City's outside legal team in the amount of $44,000.
"We are paying for the attorneys who brought the lawsuit that that the city has filed against us", said Alena DiPaolo.
If the Fire Assesment passes, it could cost property owners up to 150 dollars per year in added taxes.