FRUITLAND PARK – Fruitland Park may be able to save their fire department after a vote held at Thursday night’s City Commission meeting.
Lake County recently made an offer to take over the Fruitland Park Fire Department. The offer, which was previously approved at the September 8th Fruitland Park City Commission meeting, was terminated after a 5-0 vote at Thursday night’s meeting.
During the meeting, commissioners also voted 5-0 in favor of establishing a Fire Services Advisory Committee which will consist of seven members who will be responsible for determining how the Fruitland Park station will operate in the future.
According to City Commission records, the members of the Fire Services Advisory Committee will consist of one business owner, one Fire Chief, and one representative from each of the five districts in Fruitland Park. Those members will be tasked with determining the best solution for the operation of the Fruitland Park Fire Department whether it would continue as a volunteer station, a hybrid station consisting of some salaried and some volunteer firefighters, or if the Lake County agreement would be accepted. The Advisory Committee will have until the first City Commission meeting in January to make a decision.
If the agreement is accepted from Lake County, Fruitland Park Fire Department which currently consists of about twenty volunteer firefighters and fields on average anywhere between eighty to one hundred calls each month would instead be staffed with two Lake County Firefighters Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. and would raise property taxes and impose a $175 fire assessment fee for Fruitland Park homeowners.
Fruitland Park’s City Manager will be looking to fill two of the openings on the Fire Services Advisory Committee while each city commissioner will appoint one person from their district.