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§7-17-12. County fire service fees; petition; election; dedication; and increase.

Every county commission which provides fire protection services has plenary power and authority to provide by ordinance for the continuance or improvement of such service, to make regulations with respect thereto and to impose by ordinance, upon the users of such services, reasonable fire service rates, fees and charges to be collected in the manner specified in the ordinance. However, before a county commission can impose by ordinance, upon the users of such service, a reasonable fire service fee, ten percent of the qualified voters shall present a petition duly signed by them in their own handwriting, and filed with the clerk of the county commission directing that the county commission impose such a fee. The county commission shall not have a lien on any property as security for payments due under the ordinance. Any ordinance enacted under the provisions of this section shall be published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county in which the county fire board is located. In the event thirty percent of the qualified voters of the county by petition duly signed by them in their own handwriting and filed with the clerk of the county commission within forty-five days after the expiration of such publication protest against such ordinance as enacted or amended, the ordinance may not become effective until it is ratified by a majority of the legal votes cast thereon by the qualified voters of such county at any primary, general or special election as the county commission directs. Voting thereon may not take place until after notice of the submission has been given by publication as above provided for the publication of the ordinance after it is adopted. The powers and authority hereby granted to county commissions are in addition to and supplemental to the powers and authority otherwise granted to them by other provisions of this code.

Any fees imposed under this article are dedicated to the county fire board for the purposes provided in this article.

In the event the county fire board determines an increase in any such fee imposed by this section is necessary, it shall by resolution request the county commission for such an increase. Procedures set forth in this section for the initial levy of such a fee shall be followed by the county commission in the event an increase is sought.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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