New fire fee for Perry residents set to go in place on July 1st.

New fire fee for Perry residents set to go in place on July 1st.

Residents will pay $10 to help double the city's fire department staff.
PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Perry residents can expect to pay more taxes. 

Starting July 1st, there will be an additional fee on their utilities bill. It's to help pay for the increased staffing at the city's fire department. 

"This has been a long time coming," Lt. Kirk Crumpton, with the Perry Fire Department said. 

Crumpton has been a firefighter for almost two decades. 

"There's not one fireman here that doesn't understand the magnitude of this," Crumpton said. 

He's been in Perry for the last 11 years, and he believes, adding more crew members will increase the department's efficiency. 

"Putting these extra boots on the ground, initially, when things are so hectic, will give us a chance to streamline our operations. One guy has one task and everybody is kind of on the same page," Crumpton said. 

According to Crumpton, this plan has been in the works for years. 

"We've got people that stand behind us and trust in us and it shows," he said. 

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth says after completing a second station in town, manning it was the next priority. 

He and council approved the city's budget for the next fiscal year, in it, a fire service fee for every property owner in the city.

"Based on the costs we're trying to cover, each resident will pay $10 per house, per month," Faircloth said. 

That means residents will pay an additional $120 each year. Faircloth says the city worked tirelessly to come up with the fee amount. 

"Commercial properties will do the same initially," Faircloth said. 

The goal is to lowed the city's ISO rating. 

Faircloth believes bringing on more firefighters later this year will save property owners money when they pay their homeowner's insurance. 

Faircloth says no commercial property owners will pay a service fee of more than $100.

He says letters have been sent to residents and business owners about the upcoming fees.         
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