Sunday, September 15, 2019

County Approves COPCN With Stipulation


Photo by Steve “Stef” Stefanides | City Council Chairman Jared Grifoni addresses the Collier County Board of Commissioners.

The Collier County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to grant Marco Island a one year Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN) at their June 26 meeting in Naples. The vote came after Ms. Janet Vasey, a member of the Collier County Emergency Medical Authority, quoted from a minority report from the abovementioned advisory board that found fault with the city’s application.

The EMA had voted by a 3-2 margin to approve the city’s application, but with Vasey and board member Robert Chalhab in dissent.

Collier County staff would continue to oppose the granting of the certificate, with Director of Emergency Services Dan Summers and Chief of Collier County EMS Tabetha Butcher making strong points to deny a positive vote for granting of the certificate.

The vote in favor of approving the certificate came with a stipulation that the City of Marco Island waive their option to request a rebate of ad-valorem taxes which go to supporting the county-wide system. That issue was brought forward by Commissioner Burt Saunders and was included within the city and county’s interlocal agreement as presented to commissioners.


City Council will take up the issue at their July 16 meeting. They may choose to once again reject the provision and ask for reconsideration of the issue by the county, which may trigger the county denying the application.


That stipulation, along with the requirement that the city utilize the county’s medical director to oversee the Marco operation was part of an amended interlocal agreement. Both of these stipulations were rejected by council at their June 25 meeting. The stipulation to waive the city’s right to request a rebate of ad valorem taxes was a stipulation, which made it into the final document approved by the commissioners; the medical director issue was eliminated.

City Council will take up the issue at their July 16 meeting. They may choose to once again reject the provision and ask for reconsideration of the issue by the county, which may trigger the county denying the application. The city could accept that provision and move forward to the state with the COPCN issued by the county.

A denial of a request for the COPCN by the Board of Commissioners would enable the city to go directly to the state to seek their license. This was guaranteed by the provisions of a bill signed into law by Governor Rick Scott giving the city the right to do so.

All of these avenues are contingent upon the successful passage of an August 28 referendum being approved by the voters that would favor the establishment of Marco Island’s own ALS/EMS and hospital transport system.

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