Fire District board member proud of accomplishments
To the editor:
The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District has a long, proud history of serving the citizens of our community. When the financial downturn in 2007/2008 occurred, it deeply impacted the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District’s budget. As a result of the subsequent budget shortfalls, salaries and benefits were cut, positions were not filled, equipment was not replaced and a long promised Matlacha station was never built. By 2014, the district was in serious trouble, with obsolete and failing equipment, poor employee morale, high employee turnover and a reserve balance well below state mandated minimums. Thankfully, the voters of the district passed a budget referendum in 2016 that increased the maximum millage rate to 3.75 percent.
Since that time the District has been working diligently to prioritize and resolve the multitude of issues requiring budget dollars. Two new engines were purchased to replace the ones that were more than 20 years old and constantly breaking down. Through shrewd negotiation by Chief Mickuleit, we were able to purchase these two engines for the same price that one normally cost. He also made sure that all parts were standardized and interchangeable which will save time and money on future repairs. We have filled long vacant positions with very qualified and dedicated personnel. We have replaced our obsolete air pack system. We are quickly approaching ground-breaking for Station 4, which will be located between Pompano Avenue and Scallop Drive. There are numerous other much needed upgrades and repairs, now being taken care of, that were long beyond being necessary.
The five members of the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District work hard to be good stewards of the tax dollars that are entrusted to us. We are all members of this community and pay taxes just like everyone else. And just like everyone else, our tax dollars go to support all of the fire stations in the district. We are proud of what has been accomplished in our district and look forward to continuing to serve our community.
The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District Board meetings and workshops are always open to the public, and we welcome public input. Please feel free to contact any of the Commissioners or Chief Mickuleit if you have any questions about your District.
Chairman of the Board
Fire Control District