Andersonville residents furious at fire department fee

Andersonville residents furious at fire department fee

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Andersonville residents packed a meeting room Monday to express their anger at the new program. Andersonville residents packed a meeting room Monday to express their anger at the new program.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

ANDERSONVILLE (WATE) – Andersonville residents packed a meeting room Monday to express their anger at a new program that would require a fee when firefighters respond to a fire in their home.

The new membership plan would mean more than half the local homeowners would pay $100 to $250 a year.

Chuck Wright, who has lived in Andersonville for 28 years, called the plan extortion.

"They are bullying the local citizens into compliance," he said, speaking at the meeting.

Right now the public has two choices. Either pay the fee and become a member, or pay a much bigger bill if and when your home catches fire.

"It looks like the average fire would cost the homeowner $10,000 if they didn't pay the subscription fee," Wright explained.

The issue is so heated, the local fire chief says he has received death threats over it.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank intervened and called for a series of meetings to discuss the plan.

"It's a very complicated issue. It's multi-faceted and there are several gray areas," said County Law Director Jay Yeager.

In the end the plan comes down to money, a cash strapped fire department, and locals who don't want to pay for it.

Monday night's meeting was just a public forum. One of the solutions discussed, however, was creating a task force to help investigate the matter further.

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