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Carthage Fire Fees Might Go Up

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Carthage City Hall

Carthage might have to raise what it charges for fire calls outside the city limits.

Fire Chief Gary Smith said the department doesn't cover a fire district. It is a city department that provides a service within a designated area. Since people in the area don't pay a tax for fire protection, they get a bill when the fire department responds to a call.

He said, ”With the rising fuel costs, diesel costs a lot. Equipment costs a lot. We take around a half-million dollars worth of equipment and between that and the fuel cost we can spend more than we bring in.”

Smith said a fire truck can use $300 in diesel fuel alone on a typical call.

The department charges $450 for the first hour on a call. It charges $400 for each additional hour.

He said the goal is not to make a profit. He would like the department to break even on calls.

The city also has to stand the cost when it can't collect on 10% to 15% of fire calls outside the city.

Carthage will consider the changes as it prepares its next budget.