Burlington Won't Consider Emergency Calls Fee

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By Rachel Begle

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Burlington city officials have dropped an idea of charging residents for emergency calls.

The Hawk Eye reports (http://bit.ly/LeHhxp ) the City Council asked Burlington Fire Chief Matt Trexel to research whether other Iowa communities charge residents for emergency responses.

But the council decided this week not to pursue the matter after Trexel outlined his findings.

Trexel found that only three Iowa cities charge for fire responses. They are Ottumwa, Primghar and Altoona. Those cities have different policies, but Ottumwa only charges tax-exempt property owners.

Trexel says it would be difficult to charge for fire responses, noting he'd hate to bill someone after his house burned down.

Still, Trexel offered a possible fee structure.

After reviewing the options, the council agreed to drop the issue for at least a year.

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