UPDATE: Petition Drive For Fire Fee Continues

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UPDATE 9/9/2015 9:00 P.M.

The proposed fee for outbuildings in Wood County is now set.

The Wood County Fire Board set that fee at five dollars for the largest building on each property, and another dollar for each additional building.

It's all part of the proposed county-wide fire fee, and it's a controversial issue.

"I just got done taking out a loan for $48,000 (to repair the side of the creek) because I'm losing property," property owner Steve Kay told the board Wednesday night. "And I have to pay a fire/service fee? I'm sorry...I'll go for the house, but not for the outbuildings."

The proposed fee would apply to the entire county outside Parkersburg-the only part of Wood County without a volunteer fire department.

It would raise $1.8 million dollars, to be divided between the ten volunteer departments.

The proposed fee for households is still two cents per square foot.

UPDATE 9/8/2015 7:00 PM
The Wood County Fire Board will continue discussing its proposed fire fee ordinance at a meeting Wednesday night.

The ordinance would impose a two-cent fee per every square foot in each household in Wood County.

This would only include households outside of the city limits of Parkersburg.

One topic being discussed at Wednesday night's meeting is whether or not this fee would include farmer's barns.

"All we're trying to do here is establish a reliable, recurring funding source. So that in the future, when you call 9-1-1 and your house is on fire, someone shows up. Someone that's trained and equipped will show up at your call for need," said Chief K.C. Linder who sits on the Fire Board.

All seven Fire Board members will be there and the meeting is open to the public.

It will be at the judge black annex at 6PM.

7/02/2015 5:50 P.M.

Wood County's volunteer firefighters again discuss establishing a fire fee with the county commission.

The only people in the county who would not have to pay it, are residents of the city of Parkersburg. The rest of the county is served by volunteer departments.

Commission members discussed with the wood county fire board conditions for enacting the fee.

First, the board to get ten per cent of residents of the county, outside Parkersburg, to sign petitions supporting it.

Those petitions would then be submitted to the commissioners.

"And if we accept it," says Commission President Steve Gainer, "the citizens would have 45 days to come up with 30% of the people to sign a petition opposing the fire fee."

Washington Bottom Fire Chief K.C. Lindner says the petition drive should start in a couple of weeks.

Members of the fire board will appear monday morning on daybreak to discuss the fee and the petition drive.

Lindner says residential customers, including people living in apartments, would pay two cents per square foot in fees, while commercial and industrial customers would pay three cents per square foot.

It's estimated the owner of an averaged-sized home would pay a little more than $35 a year in the fee goes into effect.


They're not calling it a tax, but rather a fee.

The push for a county wide fire fee slows down this week. Organizers say. they just want to do it right.

The newly formed Wood County Fire Board wants to raise $1.26 million a year, with all of it going to support the county's volunteer fire departments.

But officials say they need to re-figure which property owners will have to pay the fee.

"And that would be based on just the home or the structure or building itself," says Washington Bottom Fire Chief K.C. Linder. "It would not include land or vehicles."

The fire board met last week to discuss the proposed fee, and another meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, April 28, was cancelled.

The board will eventually take another look at a fee based on square footage.

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