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Casselberry residents say taxes should cover crumbling sidewalks, broken street lights

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CASSELBERRY, Fla. - Residents in Casselberry who expect their property taxes to cover street lights and sidewalks said their needs are being ignored.

Carriage Hill resident Sabrina Knudson showed how getting around her neighborhood is no walk in the park.

Knudson said she recently fell off her scooter trying to cross the street.

"As you can see, there are no ramps and the driveways are at such a pitch, and well, that's how I fell," Knudson said.

The buckling sidewalks that don't meet federal handicap guidelines and the lack of street lighting are the two major issues residents in the 390-home neighborhood are facing.

They said they expect their property taxes and a second tax they pay for street lights to fix the issues.

Recently, they learned that's not the case.

City Manager Randy Newlon said the city can only afford to maintain what already exists.

Anything extra, he said, including what he calls “upgrades,” will have to come out of resident's pockets.

"The city just doesn't have the funds to drop and do what they've asked," Newlon said.

Newlon said a way to expedite that would be to talk about submitting to a special assessment.

Casselberry resident Kelvin Smith said that is unnecessary.

"No, we shouldn't have to invest more of our tax dollars in that," Smith said.

Residents said they plan to continue voicing their concerns at commission meetings and said they shouldn't have to pay extra for safety.

"We feel that it's time for them to focus more on our communities," Smith said.

Residents have scheduled a community association meeting for this Wednesday night to come up with a plan of action.