A01 beacon and raymond long.JPG

PROUD RESIDENT — Raymond Long presented the city of Lake Helen with a poster copy of his featured story in The Beacon on the history of Nautilus exercise equipment, which began in Lake Helen.

Election 2019: Incumbent Mayor Daisy Raisler and Vice Mayor Vernon Burton are both running for mayor.

Commissioner Tom Wilson and the city’s former event coordinator, Kelly Frasca, are vying for the Zone 1 seat on the City Commission.

Frasca stepped down from her position to avoid any conflicts, and, with her blessing, Lake Helen eliminated the events position from their fiscal year 2019-20 budget to avoid a higher millage rate.

A forum featuring all four candidates will be hosted by the Lake Helen League for Better Living at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Hopkins Hall, 192 Connecticut Ave. in Lake Helen.


Events: Food Truck Fridays have started up again at a new location: Melissa Park, 450 W. Ohio Ave.

The location was changed from the usual spot at Blake Park because of construction work on a new playground set.

A full list of Lake Helen events is at www.lakehelen.com/events-2/, or in The Beacon calendar.


Millage and budget: The City Commission approved a final budget and set the city’s millage rate at a Sept. 19 commission meeting.

After some finagling, commissioners settled on a millage rate of 7.0. Lake Helen property owners will pay $7 in city taxes for every $1,000 in taxable property value.

The rate is 2.627-percent higher than the rolled-back rate of 6.82, but lower than the city staff’s recommendation of 7.3 mills. The rolled-back rate is the rate that would produce the same tax income for the city as it had last year.

City Administrator Becky Witte had a stack of possible budgets ready with figures adjusted to accommodate whatever rate the commissioners decided on.


Commissioners get a raise: Also at the Sept. 19 meeting, city commissioners approved a $2,500 raise for themselves.

Members of the City Commission have not had a raise since they cut their salaries by 10 percent in 2009 because of the recession.

Currently, commissioners make $4,447.50 per year, while the vice mayor is paid $5,190.85 and the mayor earns $7,413.34.

The new wages will be $6,947.40 for commissioners, $7,690.85 for the vice mayor and $9,913.34 for the mayor.


Decker’s: After a tough summer, Decker’s Lake Helen Grill at 493 S. Lakeview Drive has permanently closed, commissioners were told.

The city itself once ran a restaurant in the location, which the city owns, but leased the operation to a private entity after many residents complained that costs at the city-run eatery were too high.