• Cost of fire protection rises for some residents of The Villages

    By: Myrt Price


    SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. - The cost of fire protection is on the rise for people in one part of The Villages.

    More emergency calls means that fees are set to increase from $90 to $124 for some households. 

    Firefighters said the calls for service and operating costs have gone up in the Lady Lakes area of The Villages, but that fire assessment fees have stayed the same. They now plan to raise that fee to cover costs.

    Residents in the area said they see crews constantly responding to calls.

    "I couldn't believe how many times they were headed out," said Jeff Cooper.

    Firefighters responded to 4,464 incidents in the area according to a presentation obtained by Channel 9.

    About 77 percent of those calls were for medical emergencies.

    "Seeing those guys and how hard they're working, I wouldn't have a problem paying another $30," said Cooper. 

    Officials said that even with the increase, residents in Lady Lake will have fees that are among the lowest in the area.

    They said that once the fees are in place, they plan to hire more staff and buy new equipment. 

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