Public Fire Protection (PFP)

Public Fire Protection Service Charges:
Monthly:   $0.0851 per $1,000 dollars of assessed property valuation
Annually:  $1.0212 per $1,000 dollars of assessed property valuation


  • What is the Public Fire Protection Charge?

This is a charge that is regulated by the State of Wisconsin's Public Service Commission (PSC). This is a cost collected by municipal water utilities for the express purpose of recovering the costs to supply proper volume & pressure of water for fighting fires.


• How has Public Fire Protection been paid in the past?

The Village has been using property tax dollars to subsidize Merrimac Water Utility for facilities in the Village of Merrimac at the rate of approximately $88,200/year.


• Why is this now going to show up as a charge on my Utility Bill?

Due to budget constraints, the Village can no longer afford to subsidize the utility through the use of general property taxes. Utility customers will now have to pay for a service that was previously subsidized by only the Village's property taxpayers. All Merrimac water utility customers will now pay for their share of the Public Fire Protection costs through a monthly fee of $0.0851 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.  By moving the charge to the utility bills, the Village now has approximately $88,200 available for other operating or capital expenses such as the maintenance and/or replacement of Village streets, equipment, and/or municipal buildings.


  • Isn't this a cost that should be borne by the Fire Department & not the utility customers?

This cost has absolutely nothing to do with the Merrimac Fire Department. The Public Fire Protection charge covers the costs of the water utility to be able to deliver water for fighting fires & is completely independent of any expenses that the Fire Department may incur in order to use the water to fight the fire.


• What costs does the Public Fire Protection Charge specifically cover?

Although hydrants are an important part of the cost, there are other expenses; such as increased sizes of water mains, increased pump capacity, and increased storage capacity. These things must all be in place to make sure that the utility has enough capacity to provide water for fighting fires and still supply daily water needs at the same time. If the water system was not used to fight fires, the system would cost the utility significantly less to operate & maintain due to smaller mains, pumps and storage tanks.


• Does the PFP Charge apply to Tax Exempt Properties?

Yes, all Village of Merrimac water utility customers will be responsible for paying the Public Fire Protection Charge, i.e., churches, schools, government entities.