Fire & Rescue Service Fees
The City of Elkins charges a Fire & Rescue Service Fee to all property owners served by the Elkins Fire Department. This fee ensures that all property owners protected by the Elkins Fire Department (EFD) help pay for that protection. It also allows for increased EFD staffing and speed emergency response time.
Previously, this fee was only charged to owners of properties inside city limits, even though the Elkins Fire Department must respond to emergency calls throughout the 150-square-mile “first due area” assigned to it by the West Virginia Fire Marshal. The vast majority of EFD’s first-due area lies outside of city limits.
Since the implementation of the fee in 2015, the department has expanded to a total of nine civil-service firefighters (in addition to the chief and 16 volunteers). As a result, the department has a full shift present and on-duty twenty-four hours a day.
The rates are the same inside and outside the city. Fees are charged to property owners as follows:
- Owner-occupied homes: $100 per year
- One-unit and two-unit rentals: $100 per unit (charged to owner)
- Rentals with three units or more: $0.05 per foot (charged to owner)
- Commercial and industrial buildings: $0.05 per foot (charged to owner)
- Trailer parks: $100 per trailer
Authority & Legislation
West Virginia Code §8-13-13 grants cities the authority to charge such a fee, even outside city limits.
Download a copy of the legislation governing Fire & Rescue Service Fees.
Download an information sheet about the Fire & Rescue Service Fees and a map showing the area included.
Download a copy of the 2020 West Virginia Supreme Court decision finding that the City of Elkins Fire & Rescue Service Fee is “a reasonable fee, rather than an impermissible tax or an unreasonable fee,” and affirming the legality of charging such a fee.