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Tim Howard
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THE ENGLEWOOD FIRE CONTROL DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS THAT WERE PRESENT FOR WEDNESDAY’S BOARD MEETING VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PROVIDE FIRE PROTECTION TO DON PEDRO AND KNIGHTS ISLAND RESIDENTS AFTER THE VOLUNTEER FIREHOUSE CLOSED LAST MONTH.  HOWEVER, THERE IS STILL ONE MORE STEP IN THE PROCESS BEFORE THEY CAN DO THAT…APPROVAL FROM CHARLOTTE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.  ISLANDERS WILL HAVE A SAY IN THE MATTER, AS THEY WILL BE SURVEYED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY WANT TO PAY FOR FULL TIME OR PART TIME SERVICE.  ISLANDERS CURRENTLY PAY AN ASSESSMENT OF JUST UNDER A HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND EIGHT CENTS PER SQUARE FOOT FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE.  IF THEY WERE TO GO WITH FULL TIME COVERAGE FROM CHARLOTTE COUNTY, THOSE ASSESSMENTS WOULD RISE TO OVER $500 FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND FORTY-TWO CENTS PER SQUARE FOOT FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE.  IF THEY WENT WITH PART-TIME SERVICE, THOSE FIGURES WOULD DROP TO JUST UNDER TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS PER RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND SIXTEEN CENTS A SQUARE FOOT FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE.  THE ENGLEWOOD PROPOSAL WOULD HAVE THEM PROVIDE SERVICE DURING THE PALM ISLAND FERRY’S OPERATING HOURS.  DURING OFF HOURS, FIRE CONTROL CHIEF BRIAN GORSKI WOULD STAFF THE ISLAND STATION WITH TRAINED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS.  THAT OPTION WOULD BE PAID FOR WITH THEIR EXISTING MUNICIPAL SERVICE BENEFIT UNIT, WHICH TAKES CARE OF THE VEHICLES, THE BUILDING, AND MAINTENANCE.  THE COUNTY HAS SCHEDULED A MSBU PUBLIC HEARING ON JULY 21ST AT 5PM AT THE TRINGALI CENTER TO SET A CEILING ON WHAT ISLANDERS WOULD PAY FOR FIRE PROTECTION.  SINCE CHIEF GORSKI PLANS TO ATTEND, HE HAS POSTPONED HIS TOWN HALL MEETING SCHEDULED FOR THE SAME TIME THAT DAY.