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Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association asks for fee hike

March 13, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

The president of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association said Tuesday he would like the Washington County Commissioners to consider levying a one-time fee on new developments, with the revenue going to the fire and rescue companies that serve them.

The issue was mentioned in passing during the Fire and Rescue Association's annual budget presentation to the commissioners.

After the meeting, association President Jason Baer said the Fire and Rescue Association was not endorsing a fire impact tax, but asking only that the commissioners consider it.

Baer said he did not have a specific amount in mind.

Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said after the meeting that the county previously had looked into imposing an impact tax or an impact fee to pay for fire expenses.

But the commissioners concluded such a tax or fee would not be a great benefit, in part because it would not bring in a lot of money due to the county's low growth rate, Iseminger said. The county does not have impact fees but has the legal authority to establish them, he said.

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If other commissioners oppose the idea, the Fire and Rescue Association will dismiss the idea, at least temporarily, Baer said.

The Fire and Rescue Association proposed budget for the coming fiscal year is $2.3 million, up from $2.1 million this year. The association is asking for $1.2 million in funding from the county. The association receives money from other sources, including Gaming Commission revenues.

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