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Island fire district approves budget

October 2, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Matlacha/Pine Island Fire District commissioners passed the department's fiscal year 2019-2020 budget at last week's meeting.

The District proposed a tax rate of 3.7500 mils (per thousand dollars of valuation). The rate is 3.61% above the rolled-back rate and is therefore considered a tax increase. The proposed rate is the same rate as was adopted last fiscal year, but due to increases in property values, it is above the rollback rate and considered an increase.

One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable valuation of property. The owners of a property having a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $375.

The M/PIFCD budget for 2019-2020 is $10,208,698 with $6,147,937 coming from ad valorem taxes. This is an increase from last year $5,841,880 of 5.24%

The district's only substantive source of revenue is from ad valorem (property) taxes. Other sources include impact fees, state reimbursements of Firefighters Supplemental Compensation, other charges and services (fire and burn fees, inspection fees etc.) and interest earnings and contributions.

The new budget showed a $88,200 increase in training and education: $70,000 to send three personnel members to paramedic school and $10,000 for outside instructors; offset by $5,000 reduction in executive/administrative education.

The department plans a Station #1 front office remodel and new restroom vanities, siding on Station 1 and 3, station 2 upgrade, hydrants, replacing a truck at Station 2, a generator for station 1, a new brush truck and a new boat.

"We have to thank the fire guys who build the brush trucks in-house and make many of the repairs that save us a lot of money," Chief Mickuleit said. "These are big savings for the district and community."

"Not that many years ago we were in a world of hurt," Commissioner Tonya Player said. "All of our equipment was well beyond its used-by date and expiration date and we have come so far it makes me proud of this community because they passed the millage that makes this department healthy."

"Our goal is to provide the service our community needs in a fiscally responsible manner," Mickuleit said. "This budget meets the needs for a growing community and department."

M/PIFCD commissioners Elaine Chapman-Moore, Tonya Player, John Cammick and Ken Cox were present for the meeting. Commissioner Michael Dreikorn was absent. The four attending commissioners voted unanimously to accept the budget.

The new budget becomes effective Oct. 1.



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