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GOVERNMENT F   L   O   R   I   D A Interoffice Memoi November 9,2007 I .  CONSENT  AGENDA COUNTY  ADMINISTRATOR 4 TO: FROM: CONTACT: SUBJECT: Mayor Richard T. Crotty and the Board of County Commissioners y M. Richardson, Manager, Purchasing and Contracts  Division Eric Gassman, Assistant County Administrator 407-836-7383 Ratification of Contract Y8-604-NW, Fire Assessment  Development Services RECOMMENDATION: Ratification   of   Contract   Y8-604-NW,   Fire   Assessment    Development   Services,   with Government  Services  Group,  Inc.,  in  the  amount of  $179,420.    Funding  is  available  in account  number  1009  034  0603  3197.    The  County Administrator's   Office  and  the  Fire Rescue Department concur with this recommendation. PURPOSE The overall purpose of the project is to develop a long-range,  sustainable  funding  plan for Orange County Fire Rescue.   The consultant will provide professional services to assist  the county in the development and implementation of a proposed non-ad valorem fire assessment program to augment funding for the Fire RescueDepartment. DISCUSSION: Ad  valorem  taxes  currently account  for  over  ninety-five  percent  of  Fire  Rescue's  yearly budget.  The recently passed property tax reform legislation  and continuing focus on lowering and/or capping property taxes creates significant  funding challenges for the department.  The County Administrator's  Office  and the Fire Rescue Department must look at alternate means of funding operational, capital, personnel and administrative costs in order for Fire Rescue to maintain  its  current  service  levels  and meet  increasing  demands  caused  by  the  County's steady population growth.   The creation of a Fire Rescue Municipal Services  Benefit Unit (MSBU) for the unincorporated areas of Orange County is a feasible means of doing so. As part of the scope of services for this contract, the consultant will analyze property records, call  incident  data,  service delivery objectives, budget information, planned capital projects and  other   sources   of  information  to  develop  a  legally  defensible,   equitable  means  of apportionment of a fire assessment based on different  land use categories.   They will provide the county with various options for the use of fire assessments fees, such as augmentation of Fire  Rescue's   operational   budget,   funding   of  capital   improvements,   etc.     Further,  the consultant  will  assist  the  Board  of  County Commissioners,  the  Comptroller,  the Property Appraiser and the Tax Collector in the complex legal process that is required for the creation 30

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