Eugene (KMTR) – The Eugene city Council has decided that people living outside the city limits of Eugene and Springfield, and therefore do not pay city taxes, will have to pay a fee in exchange for emergency services.
The fire department says the ordinance would allow them to bill non-residents who use emergency response from general fund-supported fire and emergency medical resources.
During Monday night's council meeting, Mayor Kitty Piercy read a letter from Eugene-Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves pointing out that several other cities and jurisdictions in the area already charge similar fees. The letter said, “Goshen to the south, Lane County Fire District 1 to the west, the Oakridge Fire Department and Springfield Fire and Life Safety have all adopted first-response fees."
The new fees are expected to bring in more than $12,000 a year.
If the emergency response involves a car accident, the fee could be covered in a driver’s auto insurance policy.The fire department says the policy will go into effect sometime later this year.