No, you’re not paying a fee for fireworks

BUCKHANNON — Is the city charging a fee for Buckhannon’s June 30 Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Jawbone Park?
While the answer to that question is a resounding no, The Record Delta has received questions from confused residents who saw the notice “Fireworks Celebration June 30th at Jawbone Park” listed below a utility tax on their monthly utility bills.
However, city administrative and financial director Amberle Jenkins cleared up the confusion Monday.
“That’s just a public service announcement,” Jenkins said, laughing. “We only have so many letters we can put on the bills. We’re trying to give something away, not trying to take something. We only have so much room, and I thought we would let people know.”
The City of Buckhannon’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration will take place Friday in conjunction with Festival Fridays, with fireworks painting the sky after dark.
While checking into the fireworks issue, The Record Delta thought it would look into what each fee listed on residents’ utility bills represents and exactly where that fee goes. Jenkins explained that each utility board maintains a separate self-funding account from the city’s general fund, known as an enterprise fund. The police and fire departments, however, fall under the city’s general fund.
Below is a complete list of fees:
The water fee is charged for residents’ water consumption and goes into the city’s water board budget.
The sewage fee is charged for residents’ sanitary sewer service and is funneled into the city’s sanitary department.
The residential waste inside fee is for the collection of garbage and funds the waste department’s budget.
The safety complex fee helps pay for the Public Safety Complex on Florida Street, which the city still holds a debt on. Jenkins said that fee will likely be charged through 2020.
The fuel surcharge pays for fuel for the garbage trucks. The city is permitted to charge that fee, per the W.Va. Public Service Commission, Jenkins said. The fuel surcharge fee could expire at the end of June; however, Jenkins said it’s likely that the public service commission will renew the fee prior to the end of the month.
The fire fee goes into the city’s general fund.
The police fee is channeled into the city’s general fund.
The 2 percent utility tax also supplements the city’s general fund.

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