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Beach Fire board holds first budget hearing

September 25, 2019
By JORDAN HESTER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer


Fort Myers Beach Board of Fire Commissioners held the first of two public budget hearings last week with little dissent and no public comment offered.

The board's second and final budget hearing for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Fort Myers Beach Town Hall at 2525 Estero Blvd.

The tax rate approved is 2.9851 mills, which officials said is significantly lower than other local districts. The total operating budget approved unanimously is $13,812,715.

One mill equals $1 per every $1,000 of a property's assessed taxable valuation.

Priorities cited include a need for capital improvements

"The majority of our funding is being put in for vehicle maintenance and new facilities. We still don't have training houses on island, which is something we'll have to save for in any case, and new facilities are massive endeavors," said Beach Fire Chief Matthew Love in an earlier interview.

The Fire District's secondary concern was the need for reserves and savings, which is a function they have not been able to accomplish for the last couple of budget years. This allows for a cleaner future for maintenance and replacement over time, without having to raise taxes or seek emergency funding.

"It's a unique position,we don't want to raise taxes, but trying to save for facilities and improvements can be expensive and ultimately necessary, even," Love said.

The council approved the budget and proposed millage unanimously, along with setting the final public hearing for Sept. 25.



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