Bulloch Commissioners met Tuesday morning and among their action items was the approval of the new fire fee for rural residents.
Bulloch County and the City of Statesboro have shared the burden of providing services in some areas since 2003, specifically those within a five-mile driving distance from the City of Statesboro fire stations. This is referred to as the Statesboro Fire District.
The Rural Fire District consists of those areas of unincorporated Bulloch County that are outside the Statesboro Fire District and areas inside city limits of Brooklet, Portal, and Register. The Department relies heavily on volunteer firefighters.
Tuesday, Commissioners voted to set the FY 2018 fire fee at $53.00 per year for residential structures, which includes mobile homes, and $75.00 per year for business structures. The residential fee was previously $50.00 while the business fire fee was previously $70.00.
The changes will appear on the next property tax bill for homeowners. Evans County recently increased their residential fire fee to $55.00 from $50.00 and Tattnall County does not have a fire fee. Many rural counties faced an increased after the Georgia legislature passed an unfunded state mandate to require cancer insurance coverage for all firefighters – full-time and volunteer. It added several thousand dollars annually to fire budgets around rural Georgia.