City Advances First Responder Services

Councilmembers wasted no time in approving a Pinellas County-funded update for Gulfport’s First Responder Services in the less than 30-minute Gulfport Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 3. The first council meeting of September also established the 2020 millage rate and budget.

Gulfport Gains Updated First Responder Resources

According to city officials, Pinellas County will begin funding added Advanced Life Support (ALS) Emergency Medical Services in a five-year contract, beginning this October through September of 2024. 

“This is very exciting,” said City Manager Jim O’Reilly. “Pinellas County has agreed to provide three paramedics, which would be one paramedic per shift.” 

In addition to a trio of new paramedics, the city will receive its first EMS paramedic box vehicle and a collection of new medical equipment, which Pinellas County will compensate Gulfport for at the price of $695,056. 

“This really boosts the quality of life for our citizens,” said councilmember Christine Brown. 

According to the city’s website, Gulfport may enter into an additional five-year contract once the first ends. 

2020 is Coming, so is the Budget and Millage Rate 

It’s that time of year again. And councilmembers presented the 2020 budget that will define how city money will be spent in the upcoming new year. 

“Thanks again, and I know it’s the first reading and we’ll do our official thanks next meeting, but I appreciate you guys getting this all together,” said Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson told city staff after the first reading of the budget was approved. 

The city’s 2020 appropriations ends in a balance of $13,900,000, and will be more closely dissected in the following council meeting. 

Briefly, councilmembers responded to Gulfport citizen Margaret Tober’s requests for using a portion of budgeted money to add lighting to Clymer Park, 5501 27th Ave. S., as well as repairing some of the artwork on the trail. 

“In Clymer Park there was some issues with the solar lamps, and we’re going to look into that as well as the artwork,” O’Reilly said, following public comments.

Council went on to present the first reading of Gulfport’s 2020 millage rate, set at 4.039 mills. 

According to O’Reilly, the city has managed to keep the same rate for the past eight consecutive years. If the rate is officially approved at the next city meeting, it will raise $3,922,645 in ad valorem revenue for the city next year. 

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