Published: Feb 26, 2013 11:19 PM EST
Updated: Feb 27, 2013 3:18 PM EST

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Two Collier County fire districts have taken a major step forward towards consolidation.

East Naples and Golden Gate Fire Districts both officially signed a "letter of intent" Tuesday night. This means they are ready to join administrative and operational services.

Commissioners say this will allow both districts to run in a more effective and cost efficient manner.  "It's important for us to do as much as we can, as well as we can, so that the people have confidence enough to vote for it when the time comes," said Golden Gate Fire Commissioner David Stedman.

Commissioners say having one chief run the two districts will save taxpayers approximately $400,000 a year.

Ultimately, it will be up to the voters to approve the consolidation in a referendum.