Fire Board Reviews Budget

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In preparation for Public Hearings, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control met Tuesday morning in their work session primarily to discuss the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Fire Chief Matt Love and Finance Director Jane Thompson presented a budget based on a tax rate of 2.58, approximately 2.5% lower than the districts Truth in Millage (TRIM) rate of 2.65. This rate would provide the district with $9,171,614, representing an increase of $982,578 over the current fiscal year. The current year’s tax rate is 2.48.

Love explained that the district has taken a hard look at how money was spent this year and found areas where the district could save while still providing for a training position, 2% wage increase, additional EMS training and other district updates.

Love will present the budget summary at the district’s Pubic Budget Hearings later this month and address questions. The proposed budget is expected to be posted on the Fire District’s website (fmbfire.org) by the end of this week.

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District’s first Public Budget Hearing will be held Thursday, September 15 at 6pm in Town Hall Chambers, 2525 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach.

The second hearing will be officially set at the first hearing, but is expected to be held on Wednesday September 28 at 6pm in Town Hall Chambers.

In other business, Chair Carol Morris asked the Board to set a closed Executive Session to discuss a Collective Bargaining Agreement article that District 3 of Local 1826 Southwest Florida Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics has asked to reopen.  The board voted to set the meeting for 5pm on September 20th, an hour before the board’s regular meeting. The meeting will be held at the District Administration building and is not open to the public.

Morris also confirmed that all Hament related bills had been paid. Last fall, the board objected to the legal bills presented by the districts then-attorneys, Kunkel, Miller and Hament and opted to not pay the full amount. The law firm then sued the district in February for the outstanding amount, $8536.08. The board recently negotiated a settlement for $7,000.

The next regular Fire Board meeting will be Tuesday September 20 at 6pm at Station 31, 3043 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach. Budget Hearings are set for September 15 and September 28, both at 6pm at Town Hall.

 

Missy Layfield