News from City Hall – Public Fire Protection Fees


At the City Council meeting on September 4, 2018, one of the agenda items was to change the way that Public Fire Protection is being changed.  Past practice has been that this charge is recovered by placing it on the tax levy every year.  This means that everyone that gets a tax bill is paying a portion of this charge.  At the Council meeting, a motion was made and approved to move this charge to the Utility Bills, meaning that everyone that pays a water bill, will get this new charge as of January 1.  So what is the Public Fire Protection Charge?  This is a charge that is required by State law, and regulated by the State of Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission.  This is a cost collected for the benefits of municipal water utilities for the express purpose of recovering the costs to supply proper volume and pressure of water for fighting fires.  This cost has nothing to do with the Fire Department.  The Public Fire Protection Charge covers the costs of the Water Utility to be able to deliver water for fighting fires and is completely independent of any expenses that the Fire Department may incur in order to use the water to fight the fire.  Currently, all the information is sent into the PSC to determine the rates to all users of City water.  I will continue to publish more questions and answers related to this a few times a month so that hopefully all questions will be answered before this charge starts.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me at clerk@cityofcumberland.net or at 715-822-2752.