Paducah Fire proposes user fee to recover costs in certain cases

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Web Editor - Ryan Burkett

PADUCAH, Ky. - The Paducah Fire Department is considering a user fee to recover the money it spends when responding to certain types of incidents.

The proposed fee would cover costs related to the following incidents: car crashes with extrication, or removal of a victim; vehicle fires; and the unpermitted burning of brush or leaves.

Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle presented the proposal to the Paducah City Commission at a meeting Tuesday night.

Chief Kyle says the fee would include city and non-city residents and could recover about $20,000 per year for the department.

Kyle says the process would involve a vendor service that would pass the fee along to insurance companies in car fire and extrication cases. The fee would be passed along to the property owner in unpermitted burning incidents.

Kyle adds that user fees are becoming increasingly common nationwide, including the Concord and Reidland-Farley Fire Departments, which charge the insurance companies of residents in particular cases.

“It’s an increasing trend around the country for fire departments to recover some of the costs for the services provided," Kyle said.

Mayor Gayle Kaler and Commissioners have asked Chief Kyle to draft an ordinance and to provide information from other cities that have launched similar measures.

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