As the county’s population has continued to increase, so has the number of calls for ambulance service, and this past year, the fire department responded to 17,282 calls and transported 12,431 to local hospitals.
However, Henry County has not adjusted its ambulance fees since 2009, even though the cost of fuel and medical supplies has increased substantially during that time. To better accommodate these rising expenses, commissioners approved increases to the department’s ambulance basic, Advance Life Support I and Advance Life Support II transport rates by $75 to $500, $600 and $725, respectively.
They also approved an increase to the per mile charge from $8 to $10. Despite these increases, Henry County’s rates continue to rank among the lowest in the metro area for ambulance transport fees.
For similar reasons, commissioners also examined the amount the fire prevention division charges for various construction fees and permits and concluded that these fees, which have not been updated since 1998, also needed to be increased to adequately cover the cost of providing these services today.
Fire department construction permit fees, which were once a flat rate of $100 for facilities less than 10,000 square feet and .015 cents per square foot for 10,001 square feet or more, will now range from a minimum of $150 for 10,000 square feet or less to .015 cents per square foot for 100,001 square feet or more.
The division, which handles these inspections, will also charge more for repeated inspection fees to encourage faster compliance with permit requirements.
“Henry County has never had a formalized ordinance concerning fire, safety and accessibility fee schedules, so this new ordinance also provides greater transparency for businesses and citizens as they proceed through the construction permitting process,” said Fire Chief Bill Lacy.
The division will also begin charging for certain services for the first time. These include sprinkler and alarm plan reviews, variances and site plan reviews, commercial hood plan reviews, after-hours inspections, and temporary certificates of occupancy. Various other fees were also increased slightly through this ordinance, such as fireworks permits, which were raised from $50 to $100, and special event permits, which were raised from $50 to $150.
To view the new fee schedule in its entirety, visit www.co.henry.ga.us/Fire/Prevention.shtml.