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Commissioners discuss fire fees

The Pike County Board of Commissioners met Monday, Feb. 1 to discuss fire fee structure and policy during a workshop. They talked about areas of the ordinance where the wording is unclear and discussed going to a flat fee structure for the next 12-year budget to avoid issues that have arisen with the assessed value fee structure. Commissioner Don Collins brought up an area of the fire ordinance with unclear wording that was intended to allow property owners with no structure on their properties to opt out of paying the fees with the stipulation that if fire services are called to put out a fire on their property, they would be billed for those services. The sentence left out the word ‘not,’ making it read that should land owners opt to pay the fire fee, they can. ”My assumption was that we were going to let people opt out if they didn’t want to pay the fee for land without a structure,” said commissioner Don Collins. “That’s what it said when we passed it, but that’s not what our ordinance says now.” Commissioners asked the county attorney to read through the ordinance and bring a suggestion on the passage to the next meeting. ”Now that we’ve concluded there is a misprint or a misinterpretation, we need to put it on the agenda, review the ordinance and discuss whether we inadvertently billed customers and if so, whether that money can come out of contingency if if needs to be refunded,” said Swift.

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