County denies Jupiter’s request to lease fire station for new department

Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue rejected a suggestion from the City of Jupiter to lease Fireplace Station 18 at Bert Reynolds Park for Jupiter’s new fireplace rescue division, in response to paperwork WPTV acquired from a public information request.

It is one other disagreement between the City of Jupiter and Palm Seaside County as Jupiter continues to start out a brand new fireplace and EMS company over the county’s objection. Information additionally present the City of Jupiter will regain management over Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue Station 16 at 3550 Navy Path.

Jupiter Fire Department's new truck.
Jupiter Fireplace Division’s new truck.

Shawn Reed, who’s a spokesperson for the City of Jupiter, stated the city plans to make use of Station 16 for the Jupiter Fireplace Division. However, he stated the opposite places will not be finalized as of Tuesday. He additionally stated the city’s plan to start out the division on Oct. 1, 2026, is just not affected by Chief Patrick Kennedy’s rejection.

Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue additionally has a station 322 N. Central Blvd and one in unincorporated Jupiter Farms at 12015 W. Indiantown Street.

Kennedy additionally stated he was disenchanted with the city’s “complete media marketing campaign” and makes an attempt to lower the company’s capacity to attend native occasions through the holidays.

Tara Cardoso, who’s a spokeswoman for Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue, stated the division was uninvited to an occasion and was then re-invited to the occasion after the letter was despatched over to the city.

Reed stated the city needed to keep away from a Political Motion Committee referred to as “Jupiter Residents to KEEP Palm Seaside County Firefighters,” which it believes is funded and managed by the division’s firefighters union generally known as IAFF Native 2928, from having a sales space on the occasion. Nonetheless, he stated city employees miscommunicated the message to look it was diminishing the presence of the division and Palm Seaside County Fireplace did take part within the city’s “There’s Snow Place Like Jupiter” occasion.

A consultant for Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue stated in an electronic mail that the city by no means provided the company with the audit report, which found errors. It stated the county did not have unique paperwork to justify expenses, made incorrect expenses and did not use commonplace definitions to calculate the price.

Frank Kitzerow, who’s the city supervisor for Jupiter, stated it has been difficult for the city to know how a lot it is anticipated to pay for fireplace and emergency providers in a brand new contract. He additionally stated it is obscure the strategy used to create these expenses since negotiations began in 2022.

“Throughout the negotiations, it was typically the case that the city’s finance director needed to create worksheets and calculations based mostly on paper copy transmissions out of your crew to be able to correctly analyze what these numbers would imply for Jupiter taxpayers,” Kitzerow wrote in September. “Finally, lack of readability within the numbers contained within the proposals, in addition to found errors, led to uncertainty and insecurity in PBCFR’s capacity to handle a long-term contract going ahead.”

In line with Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue, the contract for its providers value Jupiter $25.8 million in 2023, which is a 22.8% enhance from 2022. Information, which WPTV acquired from a public information request, additionally present Palm Seaside County needed so as to add new parts to the contract like sharing prices for nonbudgeted conditions and a possible new station.

A consultant for Palm Seaside County Fireplace Rescue did present information displaying name quantity from Jupiter elevated from about 6,000 calls in 2012 to about 8,380 calls in 2022. The company additionally despatched information displaying if a resident had %500,000 in taxable worth, the per-resident value would drop from $1,039 in 2014 to $894.

However, three council members voted to create Jupiter’s personal fire-rescue division after a advisor stated the city would save 68 Million {Dollars} over eight years in August.

Since their vote, opposition in opposition to the proposal has organized and been vocal at City Council conferences during the last 4 months. They’ve additionally created a petition to make the problem a poll difficulty, which the Palm Seaside County Supervisor of Elections stated acquired sufficient signatures in November.

The City of Jupiter stated the language was deceptive throughout its authorized evaluate, which it stated it required earlier than submitting a poll difficulty to the county’s supervisor of elections to look on the poll.

Lisa Veerland, who’s in opposition to making a town-owned and operated fireplace division, stated she was pissed off the city was stopping voters from having a problem on the subject because the city continues to spend cash on a brand new division.

“In case you are so assured folks actually help this,” Veerland stated. “Put this to a vote and put it to mattress.”

The city stated it expects to get sued over the problem by the Political Motion Committee “Jupiter Residents to KEEP Palm Seaside County Firefighters,” however a spokesperson stated the city hasn’t been served as of Tuesday evening.

The city legal professional stated at Tuesday’s council assembly he plans to file a special authorized movement, which might require the decide to determine if the poll language is authorized or not.

Scripps Solely Content material 2023


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