Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 101073
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File Number: 101073 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-523-10 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: FUND FULLTIME OPERATION OF MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE STATION 15 Introduced: 4/27/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/4/2010
Agenda Date: 5/4/2010 Agenda Item Number: 11A3
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING COUNTY POLICY TO FUND THE FULL TIME OPERATION OF MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE STATION 15; DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO FUND SUCH OPERATION FOR BALANCE OF FISCAL YEAR 2009-10 FROM WITHIN APPROPRIATIONS TO MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT BY MAKING NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS WITHIN SUCH APPROPRIATIONS TO EFFECTUATE THIS POLICY; AND DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO SUBMIT WRITTEN REPORT [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 100865]
Indexes: FIRE AND RESCUE DISTRICT
  FIRE DEPARTMENT
  FIRE STATION
  FUNDS
Sponsors: Carlos A. Gimenez, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 5/4/2010 11A3 Adopted P
REPORT: Commissioner Edmonson questioned the source and amount of savings realized from this proposed resolution. Chief Herminio Lorenzo, Director, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department responded that funding was available to put the unit into service through the end of 2010 as a result of overtime savings and realized revenues. Commissioner Jordan noted concern about using Fire Rescue Department revenue prior to an equitable distribution report and making sure safety issues were properly addressed. Commissioner Barreiro questioned whether there was an anticipated time frame for completing negotiations for the agreement between the County, the City of Miami (City) and the Village of Key Biscayne (Village). Chief Lorenzo responded that meetings with Fire Chiefs of the City and the Village had been held to discuss Automatic Aid. He noted reluctance with the term Automatic Aid; fear related to an incident one and a half years ago; and trust issues. Chief Lorenzo said an agreement was in place to review the Mutual Aid plan which currently existed between the Fire Departments with the exception of the Village. He noted an Enhanced Mutual Aid plan was being evaluated that would take into consideration specific and limited areas within the County where responding outside of the jurisdiction would make sense because of the nearness of a fire facility to that area from another jurisdiction. Chief Lorenzo said discussions were also underway pertaining to the (inaudible) resolution introduced by Commissioner Diaz and a report would be provided to the County Commission within 40 days. He noted diligent efforts were underway to find solutions to those areas which had three fire stations within close proximity to one another. Chief Lorenzo said that solutions to solve all areas efficiently were being addressed; differences were being resolved; and constructive ideas considered. Commissioner Sorenson questioned the expenditure of additional funds with three fire stations within close proximity to one another and serving the exact same area. She noted the need to address issues considering the public safety of the community was the primary goal of fire professionals. Chief Lorenzo noted the Department was trying very hard to develop a solution. He concurred with Commissioner Sorenson that jurisdictional issues did not make sense with three fire stations in close proximity to one another. Chief Lorenzo noted the following options being considered: 1) to contract with the City or Village to provide protection to the area if they were willing to accept such proposal and provide that service; 2) to continue the current system with a peak hour unit from Thursday through Monday and depend upon Mutual Aid or County units responding to the area at other times; or 3) to enhance the unit back to its prior service level by placing either a full time fire rescue truck or fire suppression unit at Station 15 in Key Biscayne. He noted the best solution would be to obtain an understanding between the three fire departments to serve the area full-time. Commissioner Sorenson said that Chief Lorenzo’s solution would be best for taxpayers since three fire stations under separate jurisdictions ws not purdent. She questioned whether there was a 911 problem or a delivery of service issue that prompted this resolution. County Manager George Burgess responded that the incident was still under investigation and noted it appeared that the real issue was one of dispatch and not one of the station not being manned. He said an agreement where the Village would respond to County calls would be a significantly more efficient use of funding than putting suppression and rescue units back in the fire station 24/7 considering its close proximity to the Village’s station. County Manager Burgess noted a $79 million funding gap in next year's (FY 2010-11) Fire Rescue Department budget needed to be considered when making any decisions. Commissioner Sorenson noted her understanding that reductions of $40 million to the Fire Rescue Department have been identified leaving a $39 million funding gap. She said that any money spent this year on the Station's funding would result in less carry-over to address next year’s problems. Commissioner Sorenson said the County Commission would need to increase the Fire Millage or fire rescue services would be reduced. She noted an efficient level of service was needed; that she would not support fully funding the station; and that an agreement was needed between the three jurisdictions. Commissioner Gimenez noted a gap existed since the City station was approximately eight minutes away from Miami-Dade County property. He commended Chief Lorenzo for his efforts in trying to resolve issues and noted it was a good idea for all three departments to collectively determine ways to save money. Commissioner Gimenez said that the Station needed to be reinstated due to incidents and response times. He noted it was his understanding that the toll increase was to be used for the Station; however, later found out that only Miami-Dade County funds were used. Commissioner Gimenez supported reinstating the Station with savings identified by Administration and to deal with next year's (FY 2010-11) funding issues later. He said the most important issue was to maintain service levels and that this area deserved continued protection. Commissioner Diaz noted a meeting with the fire union. He said these issues would be contingent upon the budget and that dialogue between Administration, the City and Village were appropriate. Commissioner Diaz said that it was important to provide optimum service response times. Commissioner Heyman noted support for this proposed resolution and the pursuit of Enhanced Mutual Aid. She said this proposal addressed the identified void of service problems. There being no further questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote.

Commission Auditor 4/27/2010 Legislative notes attached

County Attorney 4/27/2010 Assigned Daniel Frastai

Health, Public Safety & Intergovernmental Cmte 4/15/2010 2F AMENDED Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation with committee amendment(s) P
REPORT: During consideration of changes to today's (4/15) agenda, Assistant County Attorney Valda Christian advised the Committee of a correction to the seventh WHEREAS, to state "IAFF, Local 1403 headquarters" instead of "Department's headquarters" as the location for the Wellness Center. Assistant County Attorney Christian read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that the foregoing proposed resolution be forwarded to the County Commission with a favorable recommendation. Vice Chairwoman Sosa seconded this motion for discussion. Commissioner Gimenez, the sponsor of the item, noted Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station 15 was affected by the County’s budget cuts last year. He noted he was under the impression when the toll increased at the Rickenbacker Causeway approximately four years ago, the fire rescue would operate full-time and the station would be funded. Commissioner Gimenez noted that did not occur and was informed that the funding for this station would be from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department’s budget. He informed the Committee members this station was open on a part-time basis, which has led to a degradation of services provided by this station. He noted upon being informed of this, he began researching and identifying funds within the Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2009-10 budget to restore full-time fire rescue services to Station No. 15. He noted the foregoing proposed resolution would restore Station 15 to full time operation. Commissioner Gimenez provided an overview of how this might be accomplished, as outlined in the resolution. He noted the International Association of Fire Fighters; Local 1403 indicated they had other options that would be more cost effective to maintain the same function. Vice Chairwoman Sosa noted the importance of providing services. She asked the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Director if Commissioner Gimenez’ proposal could be accomplished without eliminating the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and closing the employee cafeteria. In response to Vice Chairwoman Sosa’s question, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Herminio Lorenzo stated the Department had the means to open fire rescue Station 15 this fiscal year. A discussion ensued between Vice Chairwoman Sosa and Chief Lorenzo regarding why the station was recommended for closure last budget year, the carryover funding for this year, the decrease in revenues for overtime, the receipt of expected revenues, and the expected budget reduction next year. Ms. Jennifer Glazer-Moon, Director, Office of Strategic Business Management, provided the Department’s carryover funds for next fiscal year and referenced pages 33 and 34 of Agenda Item 7A, Legislative File No. 100610. She pointed out on page 33 the Department would have $7.8 million in carryover funds projected to come out of this FY 2009-10 into next fiscal year. Ms. Glazer-Moon noted that on page 34 were preliminary numbers and advised that staff would be working to refine the numbers, but there would be a $73 million budget gap for next fiscal year. She indicated even after identifying all the administrative adjustments that might be done and utilizing all available reserves, there would only be an additional $34 million worth of savings. Ms. Glazer-Moon stated that even with the additional savings there would still be an approximate $40 million funding gap next year that would definitely affect services. Commissioner Diaz stated this budget year would be very difficult and budget cuts would occur. Ms. Glazer-Moon stated the $73 million budget gap she referred to was for the Fire Rescue District and noted there would be other funding gaps, such as the General Fund Countywide. Commissioner Diaz noted the possibility for closure of other fire rescue stations in this upcoming budget year, specifically in his commission district (District 12). He stressed the need for the fire rescue station in his district. Commissioner Rolle asked if the sponsor of the item would accept an amendment to this proposed resolution to use FY 2009-10 carryover funds to reopen Station 15. Vice Chairwoman Sosa noted the MDFR Department was very dependent on property taxes. She stated staff should identify alternative funding for the MDFR. She spoke in support of the reopening of Station 15 and noted this Committee supported Commissioner Gimenez on this issue. Commissioner Gimenez stated he brought this item forth in order to support fire fighters in providing services to this community. He spoke in opposition to the amendment offered to use FY 2009-10 MDFR carryover funds to reopen Station 15 because of the future impact it would have on next FY budget. Vice Chairwoman Sosa asked the MDFR Chief how many Miami-Dade Police Officer positions would be affected, if this proposed resolution were accepted. MDFR Chief Lorenzo stated, if this proposal was approved, it would result in the termination of six (6) MDPD officers. A discussion ensued between MDFR Chief Lorenzo and Vice Chairwoman Sosa regarding the joint collaborative effort between the International Associations of Fire Fighters and the Fire Chiefs for the Wellness Center Initiative, and MDFR being chosen as one of the ten departments in the nation to participate in that initiative. Vice Chairwoman Sosa expressed her concern with the removal of the Wellness Center due to the hard work that went into obtaining the Center. Commissioner Diaz suggested a meeting occur with the MDFR Chief to address ways to maintain and retain Station 15, and the Department overall. He noted he intended to seek and obtain more information on this issue. Commissioner Gimenez stated the Committee members were lacking information; therefore, the Committee should allow the Administration, the MDFR Fire Chief, the MDPD Police Chief and the unions should be requested to provide the information to the Committee. Discussion ensued between Vice Chairwoman Sosa and Commissioner Gimenez regarding deferral of this item, potential savings, a balanced budget on the proposal coming forth after the meeting with the Administration, and the possibility of the union coming forth with alternatives for additional savings to keep the Department’s Wellness Center operating, and to retain the Internal Affairs Unit and the employee cafeteria. Commissioner Gimenez asked the Committee members to forward the foregoing proposed resolution to the County Commission and in the interim; the Administration should provide all of the information requested by him. Vice Chairwoman Sosa stated the Committee members supported opening of Station 15 on a full-time basis and the opportunity to allow input from all concerned parties of how to fund the opening of the station at the next Committee meeting. Commissioner Gimenez reiterated he did not support the use of carryover funds for MDFR to reopen this fire rescue station full-time. Commissioner Barreiro spoke in support of the foregoing proposed resolution as presented. He noted an agreement should be reached between the County and the municipalities (Village of Key Biscayne and City of Miami) to provide better and more efficient service in the subject area. MDFR Chief Lorenzo stated that it would cost $1.40 million to reopen the station full-time for the remainder of this fiscal year. He noted utilization of the carryover funds for this station would be sufficient. Commissioner Souto indicated he would follow the leadership of Commissioner Gimenez, a former Fire Chief, on this issue. He stressed the need for this fire rescue station and its services. Discussion ensued among the Committee members and Assistant County Attorney Christian regarding how to proceed with this foregoing proposed resolution. Commissioner Gimenez recommended the Committee amend this proposed resolution to allow Station 15 to operate twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven days a week and the Administration to identify how the station would comeback into service. Commissioner Diaz concurred with the comments made by Vice Chairwoman Sosa to open the fire rescue station and later during the budget process determine whether other areas within the MDFR Department could be cut. Vice Chairwoman Sosa stated to accomplish the recommendation by Commissioner Diaz would require an alternate rather than an amendment to this proposed resolution. She indicated the County Manager could be directed to provide a written report on alternatives to fund the full-time operation of MDFR Station 15. Assistant County Attorney Daniel Frastai advised the Committee members that in order to direct the Administration to keep the station operating 24/7, the funding source must be identified. In response to Commissioner Diaz’ question regarding whether this proposed resolution would result in any employee layoffs, MDFR Chief Lorenzo stated the department was not currently using any of its carryover funding and noted the funding for Station 15 would not necessarily need to come from the carryover funds. He noted there were other projected savings that were yet to be realized from overtime and other expenditures. Following Commissioner Diaz’ comments regarding the funding source to fund the full-time operation of MDFR Station 15, Assistant County Attorney Frastai advised the Committee members that it would be using funds from savings that have been realized by the MDFR instead of the funds identified in this proposed resolution. Ms. Glazer-Moon stated any monies used this fiscal year to fund MDFR Station 15 would not be available to carry forward to next fiscal year. She noted the MDFR had several funding sources to fund its budget. Vice Chairwoman Sosa stated the motion made by Commissioner Diaz would direct the County Mayor or the County Mayor’s designee to fund the full-time operation of Station 15 by utilizing the Department’s realized savings from FY 2009-10. The Committee forwarded this proposed resolution to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) with a favorable recommendation with Committee amendment(s) to fund the full-time operation of Station 15 by utilizing the Department’s realized savings from FY 2009-10. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Rolle, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 5-0 (Chairwoman Heyman was absent).

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING COUNTY POLICY TO FUND THE FULL TIME OPERATION OF MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE STATION 15; DIRECTING THE COUNTY MAYOR OR COUNTY MAYORíS DESIGNEE TO FUND SUCH OPERATION FOR BALANCE OF FISCAL YEAR 2009-10 FROM WITHIN APPROPRIATIONS TO MIAMI-DADE FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT BY MAKING NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS WITHIN SUCH APPROPRIATIONS TO EFFECTUATE THIS POLICY; AND DIRECTING COUNTY MAYOR OR MAYORíS DESIGNEE TO SUBMIT WRITTEN REPORT

BODY
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station 15 located in Key Biscayne currently provides fire rescue services to certain areas in Key Biscayne outside of the municipal boundaries of the Village of Key Biscayne and the City of Miami; and
WHEREAS, Station 15 is currently in operation from Thursday to Monday during the hours of 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; and
WHEREAS, this Board has determined that it is in the best interests of Miami-Dade County to have Station 15 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with at least one fully staffed engine; and
WHEREAS, it currently costs $400,000 to $450,000 per year to fund the part time operation of Station 15; and
WHEREAS, it would cost approximately $2.5 million to fund a fully staffed engine on a 24/7 shift for 365 days a year; and
WHEREAS, this Board wishes to fund the operation of Station 15 twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven days a week with at least one fully staffed engine within funds appropriated in Fiscal Year 2009-10 to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department (the ďDepartmentĒ); and
[[WHEREAS, eligible funding sources to fund such operating level include the elimination of the Departmentís Internal Affairs unit and closing the cafeteria and Wellness Center at the Departmentís headquarters; and
WHEREAS, the Departmentís Internal Affairs unit costs $1.29 million a year to fund and this yearís budget for the Wellness Center at the Departmentís headquarters is $818,000; and
WHEREAS, it is anticipated that the projected costs of operating the cafeteria at the Departmentís headquarters during the fiscal year 2009-10 will exceed revenues by $130,000; and
WHEREAS, elimination of the Departmentís Internal Affairs unit and the closing of the employee cafeteria and the Wellness Center at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue headquarters would provide sufficient funds to operate Station 15 full time; and]]1
WHEREAS, this Board desires to direct the County Mayor or the County Mayorís designee to fund the full time operation of Station 15 from within funds appropriated in the Fiscal Year 2009-10 budget to the Department by >>utilizing realized savings<< [[making adjustments to the Departmentís Fiscal Year 2009-10 budget in the following order of priority to the extent necessary to fund such operation: elimination of the Departmentís Internal Affairs unit; closing the employee cafeteria; and closing the Wellness Center]],
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated in this resolution and are approved.
Section 2. It shall be the policy of this Board to fund operation of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station 15 in Key Biscayne on a 24/7 shift 365 days a year with a fully staffed engine and directs the County Mayor or the Mayorís designee to carry out such policy. This Board directs the County Mayor or the Mayorís designee to >>utilize realized savings from<< [[make the following adjustments to]] the Departmentís Fiscal Year 2009-10 budget >>for the necessary funding<< [[in the following order of priority to the extent necessary to fund such operation: elimination of the Departmentís Internal Affairs unit; closing the employee cafeteria; and closing the Wellness Center]].
Section 3. The County Mayor or the County Mayorís designee shall submit a written report to the Board at the next regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners meeting after the effective date of this Resolution to inform the Board of the actions taken.

1 Committee amendments are indicated as follows: words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted, words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed.



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