INDIANTOWN, Fla. — The Village of Indiantown and Martin County have reached a much-anticipated agreement for the Village to continue using Martin County’s fire and EMS services.
Village Manager Howard Brown was a leader in a charge to potentially separate from the county and create a volunteer fire department for the Village of Indiantown.
“We thought maybe we could manage fire services better in terms of what we were paying,” Brown said.
Martin County and the Village of Indiantown reached a roughly $5.3 million contract per year for 5 years, not knocking off any of the cost of the contract Brown was hoping for.
But Martin County negotiated to give Indiantown a $1.5 million grant to be used for upgrading water infrastructure.
“I think Martin County extending that offer was a game-changer for us,” Brown said.
The deal also calls for more transparency with quarterly reports to Indiantown from Martin County fire officials, showing staffing levels and response times in the Village of Indiantown.
“If they find out the person should have been there in 6 minutes and it took 10 minutes, that could be life or death,” Brown said.
Martin County Commissioner Harold Jenkins said he was glad to see the partnership preserved.
“Our fire rescue is a system county-wide. This would have been a huge disruption in our system because every station backs up a station so this works out where everything is status quo. We’ve got a well-oiled fire rescue machine,” Jenkins said.
The county also lifted some of its restrictions on county-owned buildings in parks in Indiantown so the village can more easily apply for grants for improvements.