The following explanation may answer the many questions that have arisen from the recent changes to the fire fee. It is important to bear in mind that there are various customer classes developed based on the size and type of structure. In general, a structure is considered to be either residential or non-residential. It has been determined that the average size home in the City of Perry is 1,743 square feet. That number was used as the REU, or residential equivalent unit. It is also important to remember that this only refers to heated and cooled square footage. For residential structures, the base rate is computed and fixed at $17.26 per month.
For non-residential, there are three different risk exposure categories that have been predetermined. These were developed and are in use by the Richmond, Virginia, Fire Department and were used as a guide for the City of Perry. The classes range from moderate (1.0); significant (2.1); and maximum (2.6). These categories are used as multipliers based on the size of the building. Following are two examples of calculating a fire fee for a non-residence.
1. Non-residential structure that is less than 10,000 square feet, meaning that it is in the significant risk category, or 2.1.
Heated and cooled square footage = 8,016 square feet
A) 8,016 square feet = 4.59 (rounded to the nearest ¼) = 4.75 REU
1,743 (average REU)
B) (The base rate for non-residential is $12.87)
$12.87 (base rate) X 4.75 (REU) = $61.13
C) Since this is non-residential, but less than 10,000 square feet, the risk category is significant, or 2.1.
$61.13 X 2.1 = $128.37 monthly payment
2. Non-residential structure that is over 10,000 square feet, meaning that it is in the maximum risk, or 2.6.
Heated and cooled square footage = 54,262 square feet
A) 54,262 square feet – 31.13 (rounded to the nearest ¼) = 31.25
1743 (average REU)
(**The City has imposed a cap of 15.0 REU for any building in the City of Perry)
B) $12.87 X 15.0 = $193.05
C) Since this is non-residential structure, but over 10,000 square feet, the risk category is maximum or 2.6.
$193.05 X 2.6 = $501.93 monthly payment
(**The City has imposed a cap on the monthly bill to not exceed $293.00 per month)
Monthly payment = $293.00 per month
Please note: If this building has a functioning fire protection sprinkler system installed, the monthly fee is cut by 50%, meaning that this $293.00 payment is now $146.50.