Jacksonville Beach fire merger could cost Jacksonville $1.5 million


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The proposal to merge the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department with the Jacksonville Fire Department now has a price tag: $1.5 million.

Last month, Jacksonville Beach City Council voted to merge its Fire Department with JFRD. Jax Beach leaders said it would help with response time and save the beach community money. The proposal still has to be approved by the Jacksonville City Council.

Mayor Lenny Curry’s budget review committee is looking over the plan. It would require the city to hire 28 firefighters by October, the beginning of the next fiscal year. The city could also take over the equipment and maintenance of the firehouses.

Jacksonville Beach would pay nearly $2.5 million if approved, but city officials said it could cost $3.5 million to adequately provide fire protection for the beach community.

Jacksonville's interim fire chief did not want to comment during last Friday's budget meeting.  Curry's staff said this is something the mayor supports and wants to see happen for the safety of the community.

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