Greater Naples Fire District prepares to take over Capri district

Ann Hall

An agreement that will place the Isles of Capri Fire and Rescue Services under the management of Greater Naples Fire and Rescue District has been drafted, and should be finalized within the week.

This action is a result of numerous workshops held over several years to find a more cost-effective means of maintaining the highest level of services at a more reasonable cost to taxpayers. Once signed, the Collier County Dependent District will be managed by the independent Greater Naples district.

This was one of the key topics on the July advisory committee agenda.

In addition, a new fire Marshal, Shawn Hanson was introduced by Kingman Schuldt, chief of the Greater Naples district.

There were insufficient advisory committee members present to provide a quorum for the July 9 meeting, so no decisions or motions were made. However, this did not stop the sharing of information related to the two topics, or the information in the chief's report and other business.

Jeff Page, Greater Naples commissioner, announced that a meeting was held in which an agreement "had been hammered out in less than an hour" among County and Greater Naples staff.

"The short time it took was perhaps a direct result of the previous agreement that was put together by the working committees over the last several years," said Matt Crowder, Capri advisory committee chair designated to represent Capri at the meeting.

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 13, in hopes of reaching the final terminology that will be acceptable to all concerned.

"I see nothing in conflict in the draft agreement," said Len Golden Price, Collier County administrator.

Effective Oct. 1

The agreement, if signed, will become effective Oct. 1 and continue for three years, terminating on Sept. 30, 2018. It will be automatically renewed annually under the same terms and conditions, "unless either party desires to terminate it" in the manner set forth in the agreement.

The property tax rate for the Capri district will continue at $2 per $1,000 taxable property value until a formal vote on a complete merger occurs.

The eight-page agreement addresses payment, service level, administration and records management, public relations and other services, personnel, ownership of vehicles, facilities and equipment, vehicle maintenance and return, equipment and facilities maintenance, insurance, cooperation with public utilities, resolution of conflicts, and termination of agreement.

"There are a few places with minor differences, nothing significant, that will be discussed on Monday, July 13, but I think we are well on our way to a mutual Agreement," said Price.

Hanson, the fire Marshal, was introduced by Schuldt.

"This is your new fire Marshal. She has been with us for a year and a month, and was recognized as the best fire marshall in the state of Florida last year. This year, she was recognized by the Governor's office and Collier County for her expert service," said Schuldt.

Hanson has been in the fire service business more than10 years.

Wayne Martin, Capri operations' manager, announced that as of Monday, July 13, he would be stepping down from his position and has taken a position with Greater Naples. It was uncertain at the meeting who would be serving in his place for the interim until Oct. 1, when Greater Naples would manage the Capri district.

County makes roadway changes

On another note, changes in road safety are underway. Residents have been concerned about curbing speeders on Capri Boulevard, the major thoroughfare of the Isles. They have also gone on record of requesting help from the county and the state Departments of Transportation to assist in making the intersection of Capri Boulevard (CR 952) and Collier Boulevard (SR 951) safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. A number of accidents has occurred, resulting in loss of life, limb and property at this busy intersection.

As a result, Collier County traffic operations has issued a work order.

"Traffic Operations has issued a work order to one of our contractors McShea, LLC to install on Capri Blvd.(CR 952), the following pavement message: "30 MPH AHEAD," in advance of the intersection of Capri Boulevard and Antigua Street. The segment of Capri Boulevard west of the intersection with Antigua Street is signed 30 mph and, the segment to the east of the intersection is appropriately signed 45mph. The addition of this pavement message will provide advance warning to drivers of the need to reduce to a lower speed and will help in mitigating accidents. Should you have any additional concerns, please contact Marlene Messam, GMD Principal Project Manager at 239-252-5773," wrote Michelle Scavone, operations coordinator on behalf of Messam.

In regard to the 951/952 intersection, the response was that "Traffic Operations has reviewed the accident data for the past three years, and none were of significance to warrant changes to the intersection. State Road 951 is a state controlled facility and, we will contact FDOT to address your concerns by forwarding the email to Don Cashdollar, Assistant District Traffic Operations Engineer of FDOT."

In addition, "We have added these locations to our new map, Dangerous Intersections at," wrote Jeff Cohn to the Capri Coconuttele. "Bad Intersections is a crowd-sourced database map of intersections where pedestrians, cyclists and drivers have reported as 'dangerous, confusing, or annoying.'"

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