What are the Fire Protection Charges used for?
Fire Protection Charges are used to maintain fire hydrants and oversize water mains and provide enough water in case of a fire. Fighting a fire takes significantly more water than providing water to a home for everyday use so water mains must have a larger diameter, and are more costly to install.
How are Fire Protection Charges Collected?
Typically Fire Protection Charges are collected as part of your water billing. Both Menasha Utilities and Fox Crossing Utilities collect a charge on your water bill to account for fire protection services. Harrison Utilities collects a separate fee based on the value of your property which had been collected as part of property taxes under Waverly Sanitary District, and now is a separate billing.
Harrison Utilities is requiring the City of Menasha to collect “fire protection” fees for their water utility following the conversion from Waverly Sanitary District, even though there was no agreement between the two entities at the time of the change to Harrison Utilities. Funds paid go to Harrison Utilities.
The City of Menasha has agreed to be the bill collector for Harrison Utilities with the understanding that Harrison Utilities files a rate case by July 1 to directly bill it’s customers in the future.
Do Fire Protection Charges help fund the fire department?
No, Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue is funded by property taxes through both Neenah and Menasha where it provides service. Menasha pays approximately 40% of the cost of the fire department and Neenah 60% based on a formula that considers property value, size of the community, and number of calls for service. Fire Protection charges do NOT support operating costs of the department.
Does the Fire Protection Charge effect who provides firefighting services to my home or business?
No, All properties within the City of Menasha receive firefighting services from Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue. It does not matter who provides water or who charges the fire protection charge.