South Fulton Tennessee is working on a solution to a controversial rural subscription fire policy that has drawn negative attention to the city in the past. Last week, the city commission passed the first reading of an ordinance that would allow the fire department to respond to rural fire calls. City Manager Debra Craig says that's whether or not the homeowners have paid a fire subscription fee.
"The fees are the same as in the past, 75 dollars for rural fire service. And then, there'll be a charge of 750 dollars per fire call. And if there's a person who has not subscribed to the rural fire service, there's a service call of 3,500 dollars."
Craig says in the past, homeowners' insurance has generally paid for the fire response fee charged in the current policy. She says under the proposed ordinance, if homeowners have not paid their fees, and refuse to pay the fire response fee, the city would use legal action to pursue collection. City Mayor David Crocker was the only dissenting vote on the first reading. He says he believes the issue is a county problem, and should be addressed by the county. A second public reading of the ordinance is set for March 15th. The ordinance will be published in a local paper fifteen days before the reading to allow the public a chance explore the proposed changes before attending the meeting.