If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
Why does the city of Demorest charge a $3 monthly fire protection fee to some Habersham County residents and a $2.50 monthly hydrant fee to others?
Demorest City Manager Steve Lindsey said the $3 fire protection fee “is a voluntary fee that certain county residents agree to pay who reside within 5 miles of the Demorest city limits for fire protection provided by the Demorest Fire Department.”
The $2.50 hydrant fee “is charged to county residents for the maintenance of fire hydrants in their areas. Demorest city residents pay city taxes, which are used to maintain hydrants in the city limits.”
Habersham County residents not living in the city limits are not charged the $2.50 hydrant fee if they sign up for the $3 fire protection fee.
If Habersham residents outside the city limits sign up for the fire protection, their information is maintained by the fire department and 911. Before the fire department will agree to provide fire service to a residence in the county, its personnel “will visit the residence to determine if our fire department can provide the service to the benefit of the residents,” according to Lindsey.
Because the Demorest Fire Department recently earned a Class 3 ISO rating, residents who sign up for the fire protection should be able to notify their home insurance provider of the service and receive a lower premium, Lindsey said.