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At a workshop April 10, Lake Helen moved forward on several long-standing matters. First, the City Commission considered a trap-and-neuter program to address feral-cat populations in the city. A non-profit organization, Spay N Save, has offered to spay or neuter and vaccinate cats for an estimated $50 fee per cat.

The commission also considered expanding the land around Melissa Park, which is bifurcated by a right-of-way and private property parcels.

Led by Commissioner Kelly Frasca, the city is considering partnering with an agency to assist residents who are having trouble paying their water bills. Of the roughly 1,500 households in Lake Helen, 300 per quarter face late fees or payment notices, and 80 to 100 have their water cut off because of nonpayment.

Because of an agreement between the city and St. Johns Water Management district, the city said, the fees cannot be waived outright.

To get around that, the city proposes including an option on utility bills for citizens to donate into a payment-assistance fund. The fund would be administered by a third party, to avoid those seeking assistance from having their information become public record.

The items were brought up for discussion only at the workshop; action may be taken at a regular meeting of the Lake Helen City Commission.

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