Midway Fire Chief Jonathan Kanzigg on Thursday told members of the United Peninsula Association that a consolidation study recommends merging the Holley-Navarre and Midway fire departments.
"It's a little general, there's something in it for everybody," Kanzigg said at UPA's monthly membership meeting at Tiger Point Golf Club, which is in Midway Fire District.
The departments' boards of fire commissioners, both facing budget challenges, agreed in 2009 to study whether consolidation could provide cost savings and/or improved efficiency/public safety. Local members of the International Association of Fire Fighters offered to work with the union's Technical Assistance and Information Department, which helps local chapters conduct consolidation feasibility studies at no cost to fire districts.
Now that the study is complete, it will be reviewed and discussed by the participating boards, which could decide against consolidating or to accept all or part of the recommendation.
Four fire districts protect Santa Rosa County south of East Bay and the East Bay River: Gulf Breeze, Holley-Navarre, Midway and Navarre Beach. The Gulf Breeze Fire Department is funded by the city, Navarre Beach is a private, nonprofit corporation funded through MSBU (municipal service benefit unit) assessments to beach leaseholders and Holley-Navarre and Midway are special independent fire districts established by the Florida Legislature. Midway assesses fire protection fees based on property value through an ad valorem assessment and Holley-Navarre assesses fees based on property use and size. Much smaller than Midway and Holley-Navarre and not facing the same budget challenges, Gulf Breeze and Navarre Beach opted not to participate in the consolidation study.For more information about possible consolidation, see Feb. 24 editions of Navarre Press.