MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Modesto City Council approved a plan for the fire department to charge residents’ insurance companies for some of its services, similar to what other local fire departments do.
The plan is a way to help fund public safety where tax dollars have fallen short and includes services like fire response and car accidents.
Reaction from Modesto residents Wednesday was mixed.
“Whatever we can do to keep them in their jobs protecting us is important to me,” said resident Charles Brooks.
Others believe the city should be able to fund public safety with the money already available.
“It’s just about a subject that is kind of tender with most Americans because we are all in the same boat together paying these taxes,” said resident Victoria Garcia.
During Tuesday’s presentation to the city council, Modesto’s fire chief promised that residents’ insurance rates would not increase if their company was charged for the department’s services, however during public comment, one man said he didn’t believe him.
“They will raise your rates, your automotive, your health, any of it, your homeowner’s,” said the man.
Modesto fire said it also has a plan to recoup costs for those they serve from outside the city, adding those without insurance would continue to receive services from the fire department.
Officials project the city will net over $1 million annually for charging insurance companies and the plan is expected to begin early next year.