ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Official notices to all Alachua County property owners that will be affected by the proposed County Fire Assessment were mailed out yesterday, June 1, 2010. They should arrive in mailboxes today or tomorrow. The notice is not a bill; it is a statement required by Florida Statues to let affected property owners know that the County Commission is considering imposing a Fire Assessment. If the Fire Assessment is imposed by the County Commission, the Fire Assessment will be included on the upcoming tax bill sent out by the Tax Collector.
The notices include information on the property’s hazard classification and size, as well as, the maximum Fire Assessment rate being considered by the Board of County Commissioners. The Fire Assessment covers the unincorporated area of Alachua County and the cities of Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, and Waldo. This area has been broken down into two designated service zones, an Urban Zone, which is the area within the City of Gainesville’s Urban Reserve and a Rural Zone, which is the area outside of the City of Gainesville’s Urban Reserve.
The Fire Assessment will provide a more financially stable means of funding fire protection services, stability in insurance rates, and a mechanism to sustain services. Unlike taxes, which can be used for any general purpose, the Fire Assessment can only be used for fire services. It is the County Commissions intent to reduce the current MSTU-Fire Ad Valorem millage and replace it with the Fire Assessment.
The Alachua County Commission will consider the final adoption of a Fire Assessment on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in the Alachua County Administration Building, 12 S.E. 1st Street Gainesville.
The Alachua County 3-1-1 Call Center has been activated to help answer questions or concerns. For more information, citizens are encouraged to call 3-1-1, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Information relating to the fire assessment program can also be obtained from the County’s website at: http://alachuacounty.us.