Dear Editor,
After reviewing the information regarding the fire protection services for the City of Key Colony Beach, I would like to ask the residents and businesses of KCB, WHAT in the world was your Commission thinking? Ok, so the negations from the City of Marathon were not handled with careful thought and feelings were hurt! Additionally, elected officials in KCB mentioned that their decision was a business consideration as well. For a few pennies difference, you are lowering the level of service for KCB by at least two thirds!
Let’s just consider the public safety issue only and not hurt feelings and politics. Comparing the levels of service that the City of Marathon now provides and what the County has proposed.
The current County proposal is for:
Two (2) firefighters, one (1) ambulance and one (1) fire engine … responding from Crawl Key or Conch Key.
The current services that the City of Marathon provides are:
Six (6) firefighters, 25+ volunteer firefighters, two (2) additional part-time firefighters, and three (3) full-time staff positions; the Fire Chief, Emergency Manager and Asst. Fire Marshal. In addition, the City of Marathon has three (3) ambulances, two (2) fire engines, one (1) 75ft ladder truck and a 3000 gallon tanker/pumper; all available to the City of KCB.
All in all, there is an enormous contrast between the two offers, which makes the decision even more important with regards to which proposal is best to protect lives and property for the residents and visitors of KCB!
Additionally, are the taxpayers of unincorporated areas of Fire and EMS Taxing District 1, including the City of Layton, going to receive a discount to match the County’s proposal for KCB or will the difference be absorbed by the taxpayers of District 1? If not, there is an enormous taxing inequity and disproportion to the taxpayers of Fire and EMS Taxing District 1 including the City of Layton. If KCB were to be charged what the taxpayers of Fire and EMS Taxing District 1 pays, the County proposal for KCB would be more than double!  Sounds like a solid case for unfair taxation!
In closing, one of the KCB Commissioners was quoted saying: “It was never about the money. It was about the service.” Well, then maintaining the service from the City of Marathon not only seems the right thing to do but the prudent thing to do!

Larry Bohen

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