If you find yourself trapped inside your car following a wreck in the future, you’ll also have your pocketbook to think about.
The DeKalb County Fire Department will charge $250 to extract trapped drivers from their cars – a service that had previously been free.
The new charge is the product of a recent study of county fees relative to other comparable county governments, including Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton counties.
“We discovered a disparity there,” county spokeswoman Sheila Edwards said.
In essence, other counties were charging citizens to cut them from their cars. DeKalb County was not. Clayton County charges $350 for extraction. Fulton County charges $225.
The new fee could net the county about $750,000 – a significant source of income in tough budget times. County CEO Burrell Ellis just presented his $582.7 million budget for 2010 – a $23 million cut from 2009. The budget will also require heavy job cuts and an 11 percent property tax increase.
The Board of Commissioners approved the new fee Dec. 15.