GSG Client Showcase: City of Gainesville

City of Gainesville Fire Assessment Program

Due to GSG’s success with City of Tallahassee’s fire assessment program in 1998, in 2008 the City of Gainesville hired Government Services Group to assist in the development and implementation of a fire assessment program. Because both Tallahassee and Gainesville house large State universities in their boundaries, Gainesville was especially interested in “piggy-backing” the methodology and approach used in 1998. However, primarily due to issues related to policy decisions, the City of Gainesville did not adopt the final assessment resolution in 2008 to implement the assessment program to charge institutional and tax-exempt properties such as religious and non-profit properties.

In 2010, Government Services Group was again engaged to assist the City of Gainesville in the development of a fire assessment program that would address the minor issues raised in 2008. The City decided to go forward with GSG’s development and implementation of an enhanced assessment methodology based on a common index to compare fire flow requirements for each building within the City boundaries.

GSG worked with the City on all identified issues associated with the original assessment program and the enhanced assessment methodology. Government Services Group designed a program that addressed the university issues, institutional tax-exempt properties and property owners with financial hardships. GSG also provided several rate scenarios to reflect different funding levels from the fire assessments.

The fire assessment program was implemented in July 2010; the vote to implement the assessment program was unanimous (7-0), but the funding level of 50% was imposed by a vote of 5 – 2 commissioners.

In July 2010, GSG assisted the City in the certification of the fire assessment roll in conformance with Chapter 197, Florida Statutes and provided assistance to City staff in the final close-out of the initial year of imposition. GSG provides annual maintenance services.