Residents vote against fire fees for 2 Collier communities

Two Collier County communities voted against giving their fire department’s more money.

The proposed fees were for Immokalee Fire Control District and North Collier Fire Rescue District. While it may help out your pocket book, will it hurt their ability to protect you?

“The best way to vote was no, and I was glad to know it was voted down,” said voter Carole Trevino.

Trevino said it was a “no brainer” to mark “no” next to the proposed North Collier Fire fee on her election ballot.

“I vote no on all taxes because some of them you’re not going to win the fight anyway but we do pay a lot of taxes in a lot of different areas,” Trevino said.

But without the fire fee, North Collier Fire and Rescue District chief Jamie Cunningham says it will directly impact what they can offer you, without the extra money.

“We need to sit down and analyze all the options we have and try to reduce services that are going to least impact the public,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham says the purpose of the proposed fee was to give the district a steadier source of income. Not only is Collier County’s population growing, but also their list of responsibilities.

“Hazmat incidents dive emergencies water rescues boat operations technical rescues outside of buildings active violence incidents such as active shooter,s etc.,” Cunningham said.

Matthew Oakes, a taxpayer in northern Collier County, says he gets a growing area calls for growing services, but “taxes in my mind are county wide, and I don’t think you penalize one person because they live in one certain area, it’s kind of like the rising tide lifts all boats — that’s how I look at it,” Oakes said.

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