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Troy officials try new angle on rural fire protection

Troy officials try new angle on rural fire protection
By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
The Troy mayor and board of alderman have approved a rural fire membership program unlike any other in the county.
Fire Chief Mark Watson told the board Monday night the fee will be based on the parcel’s improved value.
Owners of properties valued at less than $40,000 will need to pay a $50 fee, while those owning property valued at $40,000-$140,000 will have a $75 fee.
Should a property be valued at more than $140,000, the fee will be $100 and property owners who have more than one parcel of property within the Troy Fire Department’s district may pay a blanket fee of $250.
Mayor Jimmie Hart said this fee schedule makes it easier on those people who own lower valued properties and may not be able to pay the $75 per year fee.
The coverage period will be for July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013. The fee will not be prorated as the area has already been covered during that period.
Watson said the department will respond to all structure fires in the district and will only respond to grass and vehicle fires that are reported to be endangering life or property within the fire district. The chief said the department has followed this same practice for about 15 years.
Properties covered by the membership will be billed $500 per call. Owners of property not covered by the membership will be billed $2,500 per call.
Firefighters who are active members of the Troy Fire Department will be provided one annual membership for a single parcel within the district at no charge and the per call fee will be waived one time per year in the event a member of the fire department requires a fire call.
According to information provided to the board by Watson, Troy’s fire district has about 266 improved properties valued less than $40,000, 398 valued between $40,000 and $140,000 and 56 at more than $140,000. Based on the 72 percent participation rate paid during Obion County’s subscription rate program, Watson estimates the town could receive around $35,100 through the membership program, more than the $25,000 the department had been estimated to receive through the county’s program. Obion County dropped its program before the contract deadline between the town and the county ended June 30.
Owners of property in the Troy fire district will receive a letter from the town stating they will be required to bring a copy of their tax receipt to City Hall and sign a contract in order to become a member. Letters will be mailed as soon as they are prepared.
Membership fees will remain with the property on which they are paid, even if the property changes owners during the membership year.
In other business, the board:
• Agreed to renew three gas fund CDs and one water fund CD.
• Approved a purchasing ordinance on second reading.
• Received copies of the financial report.
• Received an estimate of $3,295 to repair a lift station on Mary Jane Street. Hart said the controls are going bad.
• Heard a resident has a three-inch hole near his home that is believed to be caused by a culvert washing out.
• Heard the yellow stripe on Wolverine Road is being repainted.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger  8.7.12

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