Orange County

Reedy Creek firefighters brace for changes ahead of special district dissolution

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Workers in Disney’s Reedy Creek are preparing for what could be a drastic shift with the elimination of the Reedy Creek Improvement District set to go into effect in June of next year.

Firefighters say the cost to run the Reedy Creek Fire Department is a large chunk of the district’s $165 million budget.


In the middle of the fight between the leading employer and the leader of the state are hundreds of employees whose livelihood now is up in the air.

Of those, 200 work for Reedy Creek Fire. Late Thursday night, union president Jon Shirey addressed his members with what little information he had.

READ: DeSantis signs bill to dissolve Disney’s self-governing power

“At the end of the day, we’re not concerned about the politics surrounding this bigger issue,” Shirey said. “All we want to make sure is that, when it’s all said and done, that our legislature and the governor don’t forget that there are 200 first responders working out here, and our families and our livelihoods depend on that.”

The union has been talking with the Orange County Fire union to help understand their contract and other issues, just in case.

READ: End of Reedy Creek: Disney won’t pay more taxes, but you will

Reedy Creek has been battling the district for years over what they say is a staffing shortage, as their numbers have been almost the same for decades, even though the park has grown.

Moving into Orange County would change that, but they have not yet talked to the district.

READ: ‘Political retribution’: Demings denounces decision to strip Disney’s self-governing power

“The situation is so early in the process. We’re really not trying to jump to conclusions or make assumptions about exactly what this means,” Shirey said.

Channel 9 was told that the district will have a meeting with the fire department on Monday.

Neither Disney nor Reedy Creek have commented yet.

Read: What would dissolving Disney’s Reedy Creek mean for local taxpayers?

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.