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WMFR approves higher assessment

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

West Manatee Fire Rescue District property owners will pay about $5-$6 more on their 2013-14 tax bills for fire service from the WMFR.

The district board voted 4-1 to raise the annual assessment 1.91 percent, the maximum increase allowed by state law. Commissioner Scott Ricci voted against the measure, stating the increase should only be to cover expenses and not include a staff pay raise.

Commissioner Randy Cooper originally opposed the increase, siding with Ricci, but voted for the measure in the roll call vote.

In other business, WMFR Chief Andy Price presented the maximum estimate to remodel Station No. 2 on Cortez Road. The estimate from Ross Built LLC was $1.5 million, which was more than expected. The board approved the estimate with the understanding the cost could not be higher. Price said he hoped it would end up being less.

Ross Built LLC of Holmes Beach is the approved contractor. The company also was the contractor for the remodel of Station No. 1, Station No. 3 and the WMFR headquarters building on Third Avenue West in Bradenton.

The next meeting of the district board will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the WMFR administration building, 6417 Third Ave. W., Bradenton.

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