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Commercial and industrial structures within the City of Port Wentworth Fire Protection district will be assessed an annual fire protection fee. These fees will be invoiced in July of each year and are due by September 30 of the same year.
What is a Fire Protection Fee?
The Fire Prevention Fee is an amount that is to be collected annually from each commercial and industrial structure within the City of Port Wentworth Fire Prevention district.
When will I receive my fire protection bill?
Invoices are generated and mailed in July of each year and are due by September 30th of the same year. Failure to pay the Fire Prevention and Protection Utility Fee by September 30th will result in a 20% late penalty.
How do I pay my bill?
Again, bills are due by September 30th of each year. Payments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 30th to avoid a 20% penalty being added to the account. The bill contains instructions about how and where to pay. Click here to see sample bill.
The City has three convenient, simple, and secure methods to make a payment:
• You can make a payment electronically by having the funds electronically withdrawn from your bank account. To make a payment, log in with your Account Number and Last Payment Amount. There is no fee to use this service. You will need the following bank account information: bank routing number, bank account number, and account type - checking or savings.
• You can also pay by credit card over the Internet. If paying online by credit card, a convenience fee of $1.50 per transaction will be charged by the 3rd party vendor that processes the payments. This fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to the City of Port Wentworth.
• If you choose to pay the fee by check, please make your check payable to the City of Port Wentworth and write your fire protection account number in the check memo. Mail the bottom portion of the bill, along with your payment to:
Payments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 30th to be considered timely. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments must be received the preceding business day by 5:00 p.m.
How much is the fee?
The minimum fee charged for commercial and industrial structures within the City limits shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00) and the minimum fee charged for outside the City limits but in the fire district shall be two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00). Any commercial and industrial structure within the City of Port Wentworth Fire Protection district over one million (1,000,000) square feet shall be charged a maximum of forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000.00).
Who determines who pays the fee?
Each year, the City of Port Wentworth Fire Department (PWFD) conducts Fire Inspections on commercial and industrial structures within the City. During each inspection an inspection form is completed that requests pertinent information about the owner, occupant and building square footage which is used to determine the amount of fee(s) to be assessed on each structure.
How do I appeal the fee?
If you believe you do not owe the fee or that an error has been made in determining the square footage, you may submit an appeal to the PWFD (known as a petition for redetermination) after you receive the bill from the City.
• The appeal must be submitted within 30 days from the issuance date, July 1.
• The appeal (Fire Prevention Fee Petition for Redetermination) must be in writing and describe the specific grounds upon which you are basing the appeal. The form and mailing instructions can be found on the Fire Prevention Fee Petition for Redetermination form.
• PWFD will review and make a decision on the appeal within 30 days from the time they receive the appeal. The City of Port Wentworth will notify appealers of the decision and send a revised bill or issue a refund, if PWFD determines the payment is not due.
If any person or entity fails to reimburse the City as above provided, the City shall have the right to bring an action in the appropriate court to collect such costs. If such person or entity is the owner of real property affected or partially affected by the release of hazardous materials, or requiring emergency securement or monitoring, the City shall have the right to add any and all costs of clean up, restoration and/or of any emergency response, to the tax roll of such property and to levy and collect such costs in the same manner as provided for the levy and collection of real property taxes against said property.
7224 GA Highway 21
Port Wentworth, Georgia 31407
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Monday through Friday
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