Fight Fire-Protection Charges

Issue 11 and Volume 52.

Fight Fire-Protection Charges Some 150 factories and business firms of Spokane, Wash., are fighting against being charged an annual fee by the city’s water department for fire protection services—automatic sprinklers and standpipes—for which, up to the present, no charge has been made. Commissioner Fassett holds that the complainants are greatly benefited by these services, which cost money to maintain them, and for which the payment of an annual fee is legitimate. The complaining firms, on the contrary, claim that no such fee should be levied, inasmuch as these sprinklers and standpipes cut down the general fire hazard and benefit the entire community. Further, they say, it is penalizing an industry or building owner for making improvements. They claim that since no water is actually used except in fires, that the cost is nothing to the city. To this Commissioner F’assett replies as follows: “It costs us to inspect the service.…

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