By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
Several fees for services provided by the Pierz Volunteer Fire Department will cost a bit more. For two of the services, the first hour of service was never billed, but will be from now on.
In the past, the first hour of service for pumper #1 and tanker #1 was not billed at all. Going forward, that first hour will be billed at $250 per hour and $150 for every hour of use after that.
Other charges were increased by $150 per hour including use of a third truck after the first hour. The first hour of use remains the same at $250, but every hour after that will be billed at $150 per hour, instead of $100. The fourth truck will be billed at $250 per hour (was $200) and $150 per hour (was $100) for every hour after the first hour of use.
In the case of a motor vehicle accident where an extrication is required (cutting people out of the vehicle), incidents will be billed at $1,000 per incident, an increase from $500. A vehicle accident where an extrication is not required will now cost $500, up from the $300 in the past.
Mayor Toby Egan, who is also a member of the Fire Department, said there are costs associated with all the Fire Department does as well as the equipment and training required for firefighters. Volunteer firefighters are paid an hourly wage of $12.50 per hour, and costs increase according to how much equipment has to be deployed to the scene and how long the department remains at the scene.
Except for the vehicle accidents, Egan said city residents are not charged for fire services from the Pierz Fire Department, because they pay city taxes and the city levies for the Fire Department.
The city also maintains mutual aid agreements with several other departments. When responding to a mutual aid call, victims of fire will not be charged for Pierz Fire Department services until after eight hours of being on the scene.
Pierz City Council Briefs
In other business Monday, the Pierz City Council:
• Was reminded the Pierz cleanup day for city residents would take place Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Pioneer Elementary School;
• Learned building permits for two residents were denied by the Planning and Zoning Board due to the size of the structures proposed. Each resident has the opportunity to apply for a variance, which would require a public hearing and notification of neighbors;
• Approved hiring Nancy Medek to clean City Hall and the library at $11 per hour. Medek was also hired to clean the bathrooms and showers at the city park at a rate of $20 per cleaning;
• Approved applying for a matching grant from CenterPoint Energy to benefit the Pierz First Response team. The team currently accepts donations, and many times, said Council member Stephanie Fyten, families of those the team has helped donate, which is greatly appreciated she said; and
• Approved 2-0 to increase to $1,700 per year of service for retirement for volunteer firefighters. Mayor Toby Egan and Council Members Mike Menden and Don Bujalski abstained from the vote as they are volunteer firefighters.
The next regular Pierz City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m.