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County to study fees for fire, rescue

March 30, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Washington County plans to charge a task force with studying the merits of creating a fire and emergency services fee and recommending how the fee could be levied in the county.

The County Commissioners told Director of Emergency Services Joe Kroboth and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association officials on Tuesday to draft objectives for the task force and to recommend people to serve on the committee, including residents not affiliated with fire and rescue companies.

Talk of a task force came about in 2003, after Kroboth and the association asked the commissioners to support a countywide emergency services fee.

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Because the county needs state approval to collect such a fee, the association later asked that a task force be formed to work out the details before a request is made to the state.

Former association President Jason Baer said in 2003 that collecting the fee would lessen the dependency of fire and ambulance companies on fund-raisers, which often receive low public participation.

On Tuesday, Kroboth and the association recommended the names of 11 people to serve on the task force, but the commissioners wanted to take another look at the choices.

Kroboth and association officials plan to submit a report on the makeup of the task force with a list of possible appointments in May.

The commissioners have asked that residents interested in serving on the committee apply on the county Web site at www.washco-md.net/ commissioners/boards.htm or to call Kroboth at 240-313-2900.

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