County to collect ambulance fees
After months of discussion, the Jefferson County Commission has voted on an Ambulance Services Fee ordinance and is ready to begin collection of that fee. Talk of a potential fee has been going on over the past few years with the details of imposing the fee coming together in recent months.
The Commission has voted to charge a fee for ambulance service in order to provide funding for the paid ambulance staff in the county that runs calls in conjunction with the volunteer companies. Recent budget woes caused the county to cut funding to the Emergency Service Agency that oversees the paid staff. The approved fees will help ensure that additional funding is not cut to the service.
The fee, according to a release issued by the Commission, will help to increase staffing and shorten response times. Those who require ambulance services will still be responsible for any charges and costs imposed by the ambulance provider; these charges are not covered by this fee.
Each residential unit and business in the county will receive a bill shortly after Aug. 25. Residences, occupied or unoccupied, will be charged $40 while businesses will see an $85 invoice coming their way. The fee is the responsibility of the owner of each parcel.
Those approved by the Jefferson County Assessor for a Homestead Exemption for the prior tax year will receive a 50 percent discount off the approved parcel.
Invoices for the fees will be mailed via U.S. Mail beginning Aug. 25. Residents are encouraged to pay their bill via mail to avoid long lines; however, the County Commission has hired an employee who is housed in the County Commission offices at 124 E. Washington Street in Charles Town to serve as collector of the fees. The fees can be mailed in to the Commission, Attn: Ambulance Fee, P.O. Box 250, Charles Town, WV 25414.
The bills must be paid no later than Sept. 30 to avoid a late fee being assessed.
For more information on the fee, one may visit the Commission website at www.jeffersoncountywv.org to view the Ambulance Service Fee Ordinance. Carol Swiger, Jefferson County Commission office, may also assist with answering questions. She can be reached at 304-728-5606.