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December 7, 2017 City Council Regular Meeting
First Reading of an Amendment to Part 3, Chapter 2 of the Code of Ordinances to Establish a Fire Services Utility and Provide for Fire Services Fees

The proposed fire fee treats fire protection just like the City treats water, sewer and sanitation services – everyone pays for the services or benefits they receive, including nonprofits, government and educational institutions.

The cost of maintaining Savannah Fire and Emergency Services (SFES) in a constant state of availability, readiness and preparedness will be allocated in relationship to the services made available to each property protected by SFES. Initial fire response to a particular property, and the cost to the SFES to be prepared to provide such a response, is affected by building size as well as the risk of a fire occurring at a particular property.

SFES has developed a financing analysis that properly assesses and defines the fire department’s needs, goals, and priorities as well as its funding strategy. Adoption of this ordinance would authorize the formation of an organizational and accounting entity dedicated specifically to the maintenance, protection, control, regulation, use, and enhancement of fire protection services, systems and facilities within the City in concert with other resource management programs.

Property owners will be billed according to a schedule of fire user fee charges based in part on the amount of livable space on all properties of different customer classes (i.e., residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, etc.), with residential fees being charged based on each residential dwelling unit and all other fees being calculated as a rate per square foot of developed space.

The proposed fire fee would cover 70 percent of the fire department’s funding needs, which amounts to $240 per billing unit.



Bret Bell
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Fire Services Special Revenue Fund Ordinance REVISED.pdf
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