Special Council Meeting: Fire Assessment Study & Recommendations

Special Council Meeting: Fire Assessment Study & Recommendations

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at 4:30 p.m., the Fort Walton Beach City Council will meet to review the results and recommendations of a Fire Assessment Feasibility Study, conducted earlier in the year by Government Services Group (GSG). The Council could potentially vote based on the report findings. The meeting is open to the public, with public comment time available per the agenda. Location: FWB Council Chambers, 107 Miracle Strip Parkway SW.

-The full City staff report and the study by GSG may be found at http://fortwaltonbeachcityfl.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1675&Inline=True

-Information about the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department may be found at http://fwb.org/fire/

-For Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Fire Assessment study, visit http://fwb.org/2016/12/15/qa-fwb-fire-assessment-study/

-City residents and business owners are encouraged to review the report and share their input with their City Council members. Contact information may be found by visiting http://fwb.org/mayor-and-council/

FAST FACTS (please view our additional resource links for more information):
The goal of a Fire Assessment model is to provide a more stable funding source for a fire department than a base of fluctuating ad valorem. This alternate funding model is becoming more widely used due to the stability of the flat rate fee structure rather than the reliance on shifting property values.

The annual operating cost of the FWB Fire Department is projected for Fiscal Year 2017-18 at $4.2 million.

Up to 66.4% of the Fire Department budget ($3.4 million) is eligible for funding through the implementation of the assessment.

Common exemptions exist for institutional properties (schools, churches, etc.). This exemption would amount to over $800,000 in lost revenue to the City.

Similar to the millage rate, a Fire Assessment would be controlled solely by the City Council and can be set at any rate, for any period of time, and for any type of property.

If City Council decides to implement a Fire Assessment, the actual Assessment Rate would be set via a Resolution at a later public meeting.