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  1. #1
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default Indian Rocks Beach--Fire District Faces Bankruptcy?

    Perhaps Dave1983 can shed some light??
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    St. Petersburg Times

    Fire district sounds budget alarm
    By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
    Published May 22, 2005

    --------------------
    INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - There is no doubt the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District is running out of money.

    But what can be done about it is still an open question.

    This month, the district has about $1.8-million in the bank. By Dec. 1, that amount is expected to drop sharply to $228,864, not enough to cover monthly expenses of $315,100.

    New tax revenue will boost the district's fund balance back to about $1-million by the end of the year, according to Chief John Leahy. But that still won't be enough to cover expenses through 2007.

    The district tried unsuccessfully last year to increase fees charged to district homeowners, but voters overwhelmingly rejected the measure. Officials from the towns within the district - Belleair Beach, Belleair Shore, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores - actively lobbied to defeat the 2004 referendum.

    "Our funds are being totally depleted," Leahy told the district fire board Tuesday. "If we have no means of acquiring new revenue, then they have accomplished what they wanted: We won't be here," he said.

    Since then, residents in Indian Rocks Beach filed a lawsuit challenging the fire district on constitutional grounds. They also contended fire officials spent district taxes for EMS services provided outside district boundaries.

    Indian Rocks Beach and other towns within the fire district joined with Pinellas County to form an Oversight Review Committee that plans to examine the district's finances and spending patterns.

    The committee recently agreed to spend up to $50,000 to hire an outside consultant to review the fire district's finances. The cost will be shared by the county and towns.

    The fire board is not happy with either move.

    "This committee has the appearance of not being impartial," said chairman Tom Hafner Tuesday. "We are going to strongly object to it. We want to be guaranteed that their consultant will be aboveboard, unbiased and nonprejudicial."

    The independent fire district was formed in the 1950s by the state Legislature and could be dissolved the same way if it becomes bankrupt. If the entity disbands, fire and rescue service most likely would be provided, at an unknown cost, by nearby departments in Largo and Seminole.

    The district includes about 12,000 homes and businesses in the towns of Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Belleair Beach and Belleair Shore, as well as on the mainland from Walsingham Road south to 94th Avenue and from 131st Street west to the Intracoastal Waterway.

    The district also provides emergency rescue services to Redington Shores, North Redington Beach and Redington Beach on a contract with Pinellas County.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    Considering I not only work there, but I live in the District, what would you like to know? The article pretty much sums it up.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  3. #3
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Dave....was not trying to upset you...just figuring you could provide more information.

    What is being done to fix it?

    What happens to you guys if it folds? Will you become part of Clearwater or Largo?
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by captstanm1
    Dave....was not trying to upset you...just figuring you could provide more information.

    What is being done to fix it?

    What happens to you guys if it folds? Will you become part of Clearwater or Largo?
    Hey Capt, not upset

    Whats being done? Who knows. Everything's all hush-hush. As far as who will take over, Ive heard that one of the departments involved has made an offer to take over and hire evryone from Lt. on down. Not sure if thats accurate, but it would work for me (more pay-better benifits). Same thing if the county takes over.

    Who knows
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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