Many cash-strapped cities across the U.S. are beginning to charge citizens for fire department calls. This is one method of many, which city officials have turned to; hoping to raise additional money for their broke and struggling city deficits.
In Louisville Kentucky, a small, suburban town will begin to charge citizens for services that cost (what they consider) above the normal. Claiming it’s just a way to cover their budget. The charges will actually be billed to the home or business owner’s insurance company.
Across the nation city officials have been tasked with making several unpleasant decisions regarding how they will work with nonexistent and failing budgets. Cities all over have been making serious cuts to their budget expenses by laying off city workers, cancelling city funded programs, and starting to charge citizens for services that previously did not cost the residents.
Many cities are implementing a charge to resident’s insurers for fire calls, first responder’s aid, and/or firemen responding to motor vehicle accidents. These decisions have been very hard to make, and they were last action measures. Even with these actions; some fire stations may be closed or have operating time reduced.
Individuals, businesses and government officials alike have all been tightening their belts and making drastic cuts in their budgets. The past few years of economic hardships have affected everyone. However, most city budgets didn’t start showing signs of struggle until last year.
Some cities have had to take drastic measures to make up for budget deficits in the millions. City workers have been laid off from work; public safety programs such as police and fire departments have been scaled back to minimal operating time, or closed all together.
Other areas have raised property taxes, closed public libraries and cut budgets in all departments, as a way to generate the extra funds needed to make up for the budget deficits. In the town of Lyndon Kentucky, the city had reached the point where the decision was to start charging for fire calls or reduce (close) these services.