Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Suncoast Fire District fee increases to be on November ballot

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Fire officials plan to ask voters to approve automatic annual increases in the fee property and business owners in the Pinellas Suncoast Fire District pay for service.

The decision will come in a referendum to be held in the Nov. 2 general election.

If passed, the change would become effective in 2012.

"That would sustain us," said Tom Hafner, a member of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue Commission. "It's such a small increase."

The proposal would allow an automatic annual increase by either the percentage of the average of the annual increase in Florida personal income for the preceding five years or the increase in the Florida consumer price increase for the preceding year, whichever is greater.

Pinellas Suncoast provides fire and EMS service to the beach communities of Belleair Beach, Belleair Shore, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. It also provides fire service to a large area of the mainland between Walsingham Road and 102nd Avenue.

It receives about $716,000 from the county to provide the EMS service and has a budget of about $2.8 million for fire service. The fire portion of the budget is paid by a $260-a-year assessment on each parcel in the district. It is the only one of Pinellas' 18 fire districts that is based on fees rather than property taxes.

In recent years, times have been tough for the district. Officials were unsuccessful three times in trying to get voters to up the assessment. They finally won approval of a $70 hike in March 2008.

Then, last year, the county eliminated EMS funding for Fire Station 28, at 13501 94th Ave. N, in the unincorporated Oakhurst area. That cost Suncoast $427,152.

Suncoast lost three paramedics and no one received raises, Suncoast fire Chief Rusty Livernois said.

The district is looking at closing one of its stations, said Hafner, and "we're cutting the cost of operating to the quick."

Anne Lindberg can be reached at or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Suncoast Fire District fee increases to be on November ballot 06/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 4:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill


    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.
  2. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed


    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  3. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post


    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  4. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike


    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  5. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116