The Canton City Council will discuss a feasibility study on a fire service fee to cover the costs of operating three new city fire stations at their meeting Thursday evening.
Although the City of Canton is planning to conduct a bond referendum to pay for the construction of the three new fire stations, this fund does not provide for maintaining and operating the stations after they are built.
According to the proposal from Savannah-based Ecological Planning Group (EPG) (see attached pdf), the construction of the new stations would likely reduce the city's ISO (Insurance Service Office) Rating from a 4 to a 3. This reduction would, according to the proposal, reduce fire insurance premiums.
Unlike other states, Georgia mandates that all insurance agencies consult ISO Ratings when setting premiums.
EPG will consider alternative funding scenarios in their study, including having the general fund cover all future fees, a split between the general fund and a fire service fee, and fire protection fees combined with a millage roll back to offset the impact on residents.
Once the city gives EPG the go-ahead to begin the study, it should be roughly 90 days until the study is complete. EPG estimates the cost of the study will be $14,940. This includes two public presentations to the city council on the progress of the study and will take any questions, comments or feedback under consideration.
Thursday's meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Patch will be streaming the meeting live if you are unable to make it in person. Please see the attached agenda for more information on the other topics that will be discussed during the meeting.