Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
December 2005
Change in Fire Department Dues Rule

There has been a substantial change in the rules governing certification for distribution of fire department dues money to municipalities for 2006. Letters from Commerce went to all municipal clerks and fire departments in September reminding them of the changes, and Commerce fire prevention coordinators offered training in the certification system to fire departments throughout the state this past summer.

Dues money will now be distributed to municipalities where Commerce, which administers funds distribution, certifies that the municipality or the fire department are in "substantial compliance" with requirements of providing and documenting certain fire safety services.  Previously, the rules held the certification was to the standard of "in compliance."

"Substantial compliance' as defined in Comm 14.02(10) centers around the phrase "… an ample amount of the required activity was performed through a concerted effort at total compliance."

The dues fund program distributes proportioned amounts of money collected from fire insurance premiums paid in Wisconsin to municipalities for specific uses

The municipal clerk and chief of the fire department(s) serving the municipality must annually self-certify the level of provision of fire safety services.  Those services include fire inspections, firefighter training, and fire education.  Commerce fire prevention coordinators conduct periodic audits of those certifications.

Self-certification forms will be mailed to municipalities in January 2006 and need to be returned to Commerce by April 1, with funds distribution scheduled for June.

For more information, contact your area Commerce fire prevention coordinator.

A copy of the letter sent to municipal clerks and fire departments in September is available online.

-- Henry Kosarzycki

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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