Some NCFL fire services may be seeing budget increases

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla., (WCJB) -- Some fire departments in North Central Florida may be receiving more funding.

Since 2008, individual contracts with Alachua County have been used to determine how a fire department is funded.

Now some county leaders say this method of funding has not been working.

On Tuesday, The Alachua County Fire Rescue Interim Chief Harold Theus met with county leaders to figure out a more concrete way of funding fire services.

One option would be a uniform county-wide contract that increases department's budgets based on the number the calls the respond too and the station's "Tier", which is based on the number of crew members they have, the status of their state certifications, and their level of life support systems.

For example, based on the tiered model, the following departments would see increases in their budget in fiscal year 2019:

Lacrosse would go from $205,405 to 296,686.50 as a tier 1

High Springs would go from $185,000 to $349,363.50 as tier 1

Newberry (which currently meets the criteria for a tier 2 station) would go from $175,589.97 to $206,883.10

Micanopy would go from $175,000 1 to $189,516.07 as a tier 1

Some fire departments may not see much of a change.

"They don't run a significant amount of calls as compared to the others. It's good to keep them in service because we need to have them in that area.” Interim Chief Harold Theus, with Alachua County Fire Rescue, said.

Cross Creek and Windsor's fire services budgets may remain the same under the new proposal and Melrose's budget will see a more than $150,00 dollar increase.

County commissioners say they will discuss the possible plan after the new year.