Wharton discusses Shelby County's emergency response plan

In the future, the cost to fight a fire in Shelby County could be based on a homeowner's property value.

Saturday, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton said his county wide emergency response plan would divide the county into fire tax districts.  According to Wharton, the proposal would lower fees for more people than it would raise them for.  Fees would be would be tacked on to property tax bills, and would be tax deductible.

"The system that we're going to or asking the county to go to for unincorporated areas would not be based on everybody paying the same," Wharton said.

Ambulance service is also part of Wharton's unified response plan.  Wharton said he feels confident that all suburban leaders will agree on a contract proposal with Rural Metro Ambulance Services- even those municipalities that plan to use their own general funds to cover the cost.

"The issues that were prompting Germantown and Collierville to take a look at branching out on their own- we feel have addressed those to their satisfaction," Wharton said.

Wharton is presenting his plan to county commissioners one piece at a time.  He'll ask for their approval on the ambulance contract on June 11th.  A few weeks later, he'll pitch his ideas on the fire fees.

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