|Published:||Sep 05, 2012 10:34 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 06, 2012 12:57 AM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - A new idea has emerged that would save Collier County's independent fire districts money. The plan would save taxpayers $1.5 million a year through joint purchasing.
WINK News got a sneak peak at the plan all five fire district commissions will vote on at their scheduled board meeting next week.
Marvin Easton is one of five Collier County citizens that created Collier Fire Administration Services or CFAS. Their goal was to find a way to help the five independent fire districts in Collier County get back into the black.
Their goal from the beginning was to look at ways to cut administrative costs rather than look at consolidation and operational costs.
"We wanted to look at something different that hadn't been looked at that we could actually get done and start saving money immediately," says Easton.
After months of research CFAS discovered the districts can save $1.5 million by bundling the purchases of things like health insurance, administrative supplies and fuel.
Easton says no fire stations would close, there would be no layoffs and there would be no tax incentives. "We wanted the taxpayers to be happy because they'll be saving money. We wanted the personnel to be happy because we're not laying off anybody."
Easton says he doesn't see any negatives to the plan, but some fire chiefs have concerns with a critical timing element that would require the non-profit organization to be setup by the end of this month so the health insurance savings can begin next year.
"They have to save money some place," says Easton. "This is not an end all. This is $1.5 million split among the five districts. In marketing, we used to say, half of something is better than all of nothing. We're giving them half of something."
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