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Should Chester County Charge for Emergency Services?

Chester County is asking municipalities to help offset the price of improvements to the county's emergency services.

Emergency service fees could be coming to Chester County municipalities.

The county’s commissioners recently sent a letter to all 73 of the area’s townships, outlining a “cost recovery funding” with the money going toward upgrades to the 911 system, communication maintenance and a new public safety training facility.

saying that the cost should come from the county and not be asked of individual small-town governments.

Municipal government officials spoke out against the measure at a recent county commissioner’s meeting, according to a report in the Daily Local, saying that the funding plan was the county’s way of passing the buck on having to raise county taxes by asking municipalities for the money directly.

Would you take a tax increase if it meant improved emergency services in Chester County?

LocalGirl June 25, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I'm fairly certain that the EST/LST tax money has not gone 100% to fire and EMS services, as residents are led to believe...so, where does it go???? General Fund?
A long time member of the Fire Service June 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
The services provided by Chester County are far superior and more inclusive than any other County. There are many Townships in Chester County that do not have local taxes and do not support their First Responders', but don't hesitate to call on them. Fund drives and donations don't make Fire Service Budgets work anymore. Municipalities have FAILED to comply with the Commonwealth requirement to provide proper and adequate service and to pay for that service. Of the people most impacted by the Fee, the Fire Service gets hit the hardest, of the three groups they are the ONLY ONES that do not have a Revenue Recovery mechanism and are still 85% volunteer, unlike the other providers. You local municipalities won't raise taxes, they take it out of the allocations/budgets of the first responders. It would be easier if the County just increased your County Taxes, but then again, you are letting the local municipalities get away without contributing their fare share, again. No easy resolve but he 9-1-1 system costs money and everyone reading this article uses the system.
NotAChance June 26, 2012 at 02:42 AM
And you hit on the key issue in my eyes. The municipalities are going to penalize the emergency services by giving them less money (or, not increasing the amount they receive). In a time when many fire companies/EMS providers are already struggling, this move only serves to give the municipalities one more excuse to avoid supporting them as they should.
Katie June 26, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Don't we all pay Chester County for a 911 charge on our phone bills. Where does or has all that money gone!! Also, that $52 that I donate to the township every year, was that not for all these services!!!!
Why The Face June 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM
the 911 fee pays for the phone lines and phone services and reverse activation for the 911 phone number, not the people or equipment in the call center or the radio equipment that needs to be upgraded. The 52 is a LOCAL emergency services tax that "should" go towards funding emergency services at the township level, however the rules regarding the use of these funds are loose. Most of those funds are sent to the township's own police department and emergency sewer funds than local fire companies or ambulance squads.

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