County staff to review Fellsmere’s plan to take over fire inspections

By Debbie Carson, Online Editor

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Leaders from both Indian River County and the City of Fellsmere met Wednesday to discuss the city’s proposal to take on fire inspections.

The city plans to discuss the issue at its next council meeting, where it might approve a new ordinance establishing a fire marshal who will perform fire inspections within the city.

“It was a very good meeting,” said Emergency Services Director John King, who sat down with Assistant County Attorney Bill DeBraal, Fellsmere City Manager Jason Nunemaker and City Attorney Warren Dill. Nunemaker is expected to provide a document to the county’s administrator regarding the ordinance, which the county’s staff would then review, King said.

The issue could go before the Board of County Commissioners, but when that might happen is currently unknown.

King declined to say what he thinks about the city’s plan to take on fire inspections or whether his concerns had been addressed, stating instead that the meeting had been “very friendly.”

Earlier this week, King expressed concern that there could be a duplication of services should the city approve a fire marshal.

Nunemaker said that the meeting served its purpose in straightening out what the city is planning to do. He added that if the county were agreeable, they could work out an interlocal agreement to clarify the responsibilities of each party.

“We’re not trying to step on any toes,” Nunemaker said.

He said that the city is only trying to provide a better permitting experience for businesses and new construction by providing a one-stop shop to facilitate business activity.

Nunemaker emphasized that the city has no plans to provide fire or emergency medical services for the residents – only fire inspections.

For more on this issue, read MORE.

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