New fire fee in effect for Randolph County

Residents in Randolph County may have noticed a new bill in the mail, a fire fee.

"The ultimate goal here is that we, the county commission, adequately fund the nine volunteer fire departments in Randolph County that provide an essential service to our citizens" says Randolph County Commission President Michael M. Taylor.

The bill is $72 dollars a year per residential structure a person owns, outbuildings and barns do not apply. Commercial property is charged by square footage with a cap of $500.

"I thought it was a little high, but if it does help the fire departments get what they need, I mean it's a good thing, but I still think it's a little high" says Beverly resident Robert Ewashakow.

"It a hard hit, all at once" adds Randolph County resident Cathy Varney.

Commission President Taylor says that there have been a lot of questions and concerns about the fire fee, overcharges is one of them.

"Some technical glitches when it came out of the assessors office. They were automatically doubled from 72 dollars to 144 dollars, we are correcting those" says Taylor.

Other people say that they think this fire fee should have been on the ballot.

"I think everybody should have known about it, I mean it just kind of came out of nowhere" says Randolph County resident Lori Welch.

"When we were presented with the 2,000 petitions, had the people who opposed it garnered 30% of the people who had voted in the last election signatures to protest it, than it would have been required to be on the ballot. That did not occur" says Taylor.

This county fire fee gives the nine Randolph County Volunteer Fire Departments around $50,000 a year, but this fee does not include Elkins and Elkins first due area fire fee.