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Fire commissioners OK district’s millage rate, budget

By Staff | Sep 24, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Captiva Island Fire Control District Commissioners Jeffrey Brown, Sherrill Sims and C.W. Kilgore adopted the district's millage rate and budget for 2019-2020 at a final budget hearing on Sept. 18.

The Captiva Island Fire Control District’s commission adopted a final millage rate of 1.7540 and budget of $3,588,133 for the upcoming fiscal year at its second and final budget hearing.

On Sept. 18, the commissioners voted unanimously 3-0 for the proposed operating rate – an increase from the rolled back rate of 1.6780 – plus the general fund for 2019-2020, which begins on Oct. 1. The new millage rate is a 4.53 percent increase over the rolled back rate, according to district officials.

A mill is $1 per every $1,000 of taxable valuation. The rolled back rate is the rate it would take to generate the same amount of revenue in the coming fiscal year as was generated in the previous year.

The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office has certified that the “2019 gross taxable value for operating purposes not exempt from taxation within Lee County” to the district as $1,479,758,338.

The approved 2019-2020 budget includes appropriations and revenue.

Fire Chief Jeff Pawul

For the separate resolutions – the millage rate and the budget – Commissioner Jeffrey Brown moved for adoption and Commissioner Sherrill Sims seconded the motions. Both passed in separate votes.

“Nice job,” Sims told the district’s administration. “Thank you.”

She explained that the first hearing involved an hour-long presentation on the tentative budget.

“They did a wonderful job,” Sims said. “Very well presented.”

At the recent final hearing, there was no discussion among the commission before it voted.

Brown voiced appreciation for the time staff took to review the proposal with them.

“We went over it in great detail,” he said of the budget and the first hearing.

Commissioner C.W. Kilgore agreed.

“The administration staff had a perfect answer for every question,” he said, adding that the commissioners’ inquiries were answered or explained to their satisfaction.

Fire Chief Jeff Pawul explained that the big year-over-year increases in the new budget are due to increases in health insurance, worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance. The district also increased its reserve fund a bit for the new cancer bill, as well as for repair and maintenance items.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It was a responsible budget.”

Pawul noted that no changes were requested by the commission out of the first hearing.

“It was as efficient as we could be,” he said of the final proposal adopted.