Fire Fees in Sumter County

By Fatima Rahmatullah -  bio | email | Twitter

AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) - Imagine having to pay for firefighters to come and extinguish a fire at your home. That may be the case for some unincorporated areas of Central Georgia.  Sumter County Board of Commissioners held a public meeting tonight to talk about this issue.

"We will have men and volunteers at different fire stations all over Sumter County," says Al Hurley.

Hurley, Vice Chairman of the Sumter County Board of Commissioners is referring to the new proposed fire fees in the unincorporated areas of Sumter County. Hurley says, if approved, this could mean faster response time and help set off the cost of Americus running the fire department.

"It would be one flat fee for the whole year and for parcel it would be $50,  for a mobile home it would be a $100; this is for a year it doesn't matter how many fires you have," says Hurley.

He says this would not only help the community to get better fire and EMS services but there would also be volunteer fire stations closer to smaller towns.  They would employ paid fire firefighters, along with approved inmates.

"Everybody deserves fire protection and with the city of Americus being the county seat the main hub was Americus and the 27th district they had fire service but a lot of the other areas that's out in the unincorporated areas didn't have the fire service," says Hurley.

But some residents are not happy with this proposal.

"You can call it a property tax, you can call it a fire fee tax,  you can call it a water run off fee if you want to.  The bottom line is this somebody is got to come up with the money to fund this," says Sumter County resident, Richard Deriso.

Sumter says residents simply don't have the money in this economy.

"I want it to happen but I don't want it to take $150 out of my pocket in this economy come Dec the 1st.  That's how I feel and I'm sure 99% of the citizens feel exactly the same way," says Deriso.

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