December 3, 2011 - In a recent article in the Stuart News reminded us of the fact that the County is faced with a serious dilemma brought on by the acceptance of the 3.6 million dollar federal SAFER grant that allowed Fire and Rescue to hire an additional 33 firefighters over a 5 year period. The conditions of the grant were that a portion of the cost would be absorbed by the County each year ultimately assuming the total cost by 2014. We are now midway through the grant and facing the question of how to pay for the 33 new employees in the amount of approximately $2.8 million in payroll costs. For the record, the MCTA advised against accepting the grant for a variety of reasons uppermost which was the need for an additional 33 people in the department when 9 additional staff (or a total of 42) were added to reduce overtime hours. The BOCC apparently thought differently and approved the grant.
December 17, 2011 - In today’s article we would like to take the opportunity to recap some of the accomplishments of the MCTA in 2011 and also share with our readers, some of the goals we have set for 2012. Most of what appears here was shared in a letter to the members of our association.