Putnam business blasts fire service board over fee structure

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 26, 2014

WINFIELD -- A business is suing a county fire service board alleging the fees it sets are arbitrary and improper.

Foster Supply Inc. filed a lawsuit June 9 in Putnam Circuit Court against the Putnam County Fire Service Board Inc. and the County Commission of Putnam County, citing non-compliance with West Virginia law.

The lawsuit states Foster Supply has sought to remedy the Putnam County Fire Service User Fee Ordinance through the administrative process and now seeks to challenge it as an unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious fire service fee formula.

The company, based in Scott Depot, wants the court to rule that the county’s annual fire service fees are unreasonable and need to be recalculated.

Foster Supply contends that an ordinance amendment adopted by the County Commission a few years ago places fire fees on commercial buildings at a rate of about 13 times the average amount imposed on residential buildings. It says the amendment applies an “arbitrary square footage formula to ‘buildings’ within the county without regard to the use, construction techniques, fire risk, location, and accessibility of fire services."

The company argues that the fee formula goes against state code.

Foster Supply is seeking for the court to order the county to reformulate the fee system and to award it court costs.

Foster Supply is being represented by Harvey D. Peyton of the Peyton Law Firm PLLC of Nitro.

Putnam Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-169






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