'A tough loss': Fire district to regroup after referendum defeat

Matt Algarin | The Log
Fire District Millage Change

Destin's residents issue a resounding no to another Destin Fire Control District referendum asking to increase the millage cap.

"It was a tough loss," Fire Chief Kevin Sasser wrote in an email to The Log. "The people have spoken and we will make adjustments as necessary to overcome the district's deficit."

Facing a budget shortfall of nearly $500,000, the fire district asked voters to increase its millage cap from 1.0 mils to 1.145 mils, which would represent an increase of 15 cents for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

When the final results were tallied Tuesday night, the measure was defeated by a 1,031 (57.15 percent) to 773 (42.84 percent) margin.

This is the second consecutive year the fire district put forth a referendum item asking for an increase to the millage cap. Last year the district asked to increase the millage cap to the maximum allowable by the state 3.75 mils, which was soundly defeated.

As for the way forward, the fire district will hold a special meeting March 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Station 9, 848 Airport Road. At this public meeting they will more than likely discuss "what's next" for the district.