Martin County wants more discussion with Stuart over possible fire rescue merger

STUART, Fla. - The Martin County Commission on Tuesday considered two issues: Whether consolidating its fire department with the city of Stuart’s could be beneficial, and if so, what would be the best way to do it.

The commission answered neither question definitively but directed staff to speak with the city of Stuart to further explore all possibilities. Both jurisdictions have considered four options for the merger.

The Stuart Commission in April chose an independent taxing district, a separate government entity not ruled by local government, and which can set its own budget.

Commissioners Anne Scott and Sarah Heard said they are somewhat uncomfortable with an independent taxing district, which would take over millions of dollars previously controlled by the county.

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