FMB Fire District Votes to Study Merger

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State Representative Adam Botana is on a mission to merge several of the fire districts in his voting district. After an attempt to pursue a merger of the Bonita Springs Fire District with Fort Myers Beach failed, Botana came back with plan B.

Botana believes there are too many fire districts across the state of Florida and consolidating some of them will save taxpayers money. The Fort Myers Beach Fire District Board disagrees with that assessment.

Botana’s second attempt to merge districts calls for completely dissolving the Fort Myers Beach Fire District. Botana wants to create two new districts from three existing districts and that involves Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach and Iona-McGregor. The Matanzas Pass Bridge would split the two new districts.

One district would be created from the Matanzas Pass Bridge east to Iona and become the Iona-McGregor Fire District. Currently, the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District extends over the bridge on San Carlos Boulevard. The other new district would cover everything from the Matanzas Pass Bridge south toward Bonita and become the Bonita Beach Fire District.

Botana’s new bill does not call for a study before being implemented. It does call for a referendum of the voters, which is what he promised when his first merger plan died. If this latest plan moves forward, it would be on the ballot in November of 2024.

This week, the Fort Myers Beach Fire District approved a resolution by a 4-1 vote to conduct a study to determine if a merger with Iona makes financial sense for the taxpayers.

The resolution, which Commissioner Ron Flemming voted against, says the study will be done by an independent expert consultant and that the study is warranted because a merger of the two districts “constitutes a significant impact on the residents, voters, taxpayers, and visitors to Fort Myers Beach and Iona McGregor.”

The Iona McGregor Fire District passed a similar motion earlier this week.

It’s unknown what the study will cost but it will be split evenly between the two districts. It’s also unknown how this study, when complete, will impact Botana’s plan to create two new districts, a bigger Iona-McGregor district and a bigger Bonita Springs district and basically dissolve Fort Myers Beach completely.

 

 

13 COMMENTS

  1. Where is the benefit to anyone involved? Insurance will go up, response times will go down, deaths will go up! Jobs lost? Stations closed? What does Botana own? Mosquito control company? Mortuary? Fire truck company? This defies explanation or common sense!

  2. You vote for this, you will be voting for Botana. Botana does support the people! Botana supports his own POCKETS!

    20 – 30 minutes for an ambulance when you have a life-threatening call? Wouldn’t you rather have an is 5 minutes away instead of 20 minutes away? People are gonna die left and right. Voters will say “Why did we vote for this bulshit”!

  3. So FMB ambulances will go to Bonita, who doesn’t have ambulances? Do I have that right? What our FD worked so hard to build, Botana wants to steal. Why doesn’t Bonita have their own ambulances? Consider how long it will take when an ambulance is needed on the island & then the trip to the hospital after – through traffic both ways!! The ambulance on the island is the benefit to us that live here.

  4. Botana is a greedy politician who wants a 7 mile extension of Bonita Beach Road to line his( the useful Idiot ) and his greedy handlers pockets. It is a naked, obvious money grab! Bonita and Botana gets Estero Blvd and Estero Island and Iona fire gets the crumbs. At least Flemming stood up to the madness and voted no. Keep FMBFD as it is!

  5. No way. Why mess with what is working well. Who is the consultant and what is their background? Also if Mr Botana is so concerned about safety how about Lee County widening Bonita beach road aka Hickory Blvd all the way to the setbacks similar to what was done on FMB. There needs to be turn lanes for traffic flow and safety as this is our evacuation route off the south end. The traffic cannot safely pass the trash and work trucks blocking the road or people making left turns. It worked on FMB why not on Bonita Beach? Let’s see if Botana can fight that fight with the residents who have built out their plantings and driveways into set backs! That will keep him busy. But he may not have the guts to do that. Just pick on the fire districts.

  6. Botana also wants to consolidate mosquito control with other districts. Truth is, Botana works for Lee County and Lee County sees FMB and Captiva as a cash cow. If you think Sanibel has trouble with traffic now, wait till Lee county approves the height and density of Captiva.

  7. When considering cost savings, are they factoring the insurance increases because the fire response times will be lower since they are farther away?

  8. FMB, Beware of fire service “independent expert consultants” and whose pocket they’re in. After they tell you how to merge, they’ll sign on to facilitate the process. You will not be saving money. There is much to be said for having your own district and taking care of your own residents. It’s a bond that money can’t replace.

  9. Besides cost, anyone considering “traffic” on Island … ???
    Cost to create the 2 new Fire Districts ?
    Mr. Botana – Leave things the way they are – they work fine. Instead – fine a solution to alleviate traffic !!!!!

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