Public Fire Protection FAQs

Share This:


What is the Public Fire Protection Charge?
This is a charge that is regulated by the State of Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission (PSC). This is a cost collected by municipal water utilities for the express purpose of recovering the costs to supply proper volume & pressure of water for fighting fires.

How has Public Fire Protection been paid in the past?
The Village of Union Grove has been using property tax dollars to subsidize Village of Union Grove Water facilities at the rate of approximately $404,644/year.

Why is this now going to show up as a charge on my Utility Bill?
Due to budget constraints & reduction in State-shared revenues, the village  can no longer afford to subsidize the utility through the use of general property taxes. Utility customers will now have to pay for a service that was previously subsidized by only the Union Grove’s property taxpayers. All Village of Union Grove water utility customers will now pay for their share of the Public Fire Protection costs through a fixed monthly fee on the utility bill, based on water meter size.  By moving the charge to the utility bills, the Village now has approximately $404,644 available for other operating or capital expenses such as the maintenance and/or replacement of Village streets, equipment, and/or municipal buildings.

Isn’t this a cost that should be borne by the Fire Department? Isn’t this why I pay taxes?
The Public Fire Protection charge covers the costs of the water utility to be able to deliver water for fighting fires. How these expenses are accounted for and organized in the Village’s financial accounts are regulated by the State of Wisconsin.

What costs does the Public Fire Protection Charge specifically cover?
Although hydrants are an important part of the cost, there are other expenses; such as increased sizes of water mains, increased pump capacity, and increased storage capacity (water towers); that all must be in place to supply water for a fire. These things must all be in place to make sure that the utility has enough capacity to provide water for fighting fires and still supply daily water needs at the same time. If the water system was not used to fight fires, the system would cost the utility significantly less to operate & maintain due to smaller mains, pumps and storage tanks.

Does the PFP Charge apply to Tax Exempt Properties?
Yes, all Village of Union Grove water utility customers will be responsible for paying the Public Fire Protection Charge, i.e. churches, schools, government entities; will pay the same rate as any other customer with the same meter size.

This is just a utility rate increase isn’t it?
No, the utility is not receiving any increase in revenue this is just the same amount coming from a different source – a direct charge on your utility bill rather than from the Villages of Union Grove’s  general tax collections.

Skip to content