Village of Dousman Fire Protection Fee
Over the past year the Village of Dousman has undertaken a detailed and comprehensive work effort to determine the best way to fund the necessary service of fire protection to its residents.
The Village Board has made the decision to implement fire service fees that enable the Village to accomplish the following goals:
- Protect the lives and property of all Dousman residents and businesses through fire protection, emergency management, education and prevention.
- Ensure that there is adequate funding for necessary operation, staffing and training.
- To apportion the cost of providing fire protection services in the most fair and equitable way.
Fire service fees are now listed as a special charge on the yearly tax bill and our tax levy has been lowered to reflect this change.
What is a fire service fee? A fire service fee is a charge for having fire protection services provided by the Western Lakes Fire Department (WLFD) to all properties in the Village. The revenue collected by this fee can only be used for the provisions of fire protection services in the Village of Dousman.
Who is required to pay a fire service fee? All properties – residential, commercial, institutional and tax exempt – within the Village of Dousman are required to pay a fire service fee, with the exception of state-owned lands that already make an annual aid payment.
How are fire service fees calculated? The Village of Dousman has established a fire service fee formula. It is calculated through different variables; acreage, building square footage and outbuilding square footage. By including all of these variables, the fee is more equity divided by the billing unit, or Domestic User Equivalent (DUE), to determine each parcels fire service fee.
Will the billing rate increase? The Fire Board members representing each municipality and WLFD work in detail and with great consideration on a realistic working budget every year. The Municipal Joint Owners of the WLFD then collectively vote to adopt that budget annually. The Village of Dousman Board’s goal balances conservative budgeting while maintaining necessary service for all residents.
Is this just another tax? A fire service fee is not a tax. Although the service fee is a charge t customers, it is not a tax because it bears no relation to the taxable value of a property. Instead, customers are charged based on acreage and building square footage that would require WLFD to provide a smaller or larger amount of personnel and/or equipment in response to a fire on their property.
(An ordinance will be adopted and will be available through the Clerk’s office)