In a bid to show their progressive nature and public spirit, the politicos of Duluth, Minnesota have decided to charge a fee for police and fire responses.
As reported by station WCCO:
Considers Fees For Police, Fire Response
"Duluth city administrators are considering charging property owners and drivers fees for police and fire responses."
No word yet if a person is to give a credit card number with the call for help or simply await the bill in the mail.
Then, there is the ticklish issue of the nosy neighbor calling in the fire, accident or crime.
"Hey I didn't call you guys! I had the water hose just about hooked up and I would have had this BBQ shut down in a minute!"
"It wasn't really a heart attack. I was just catching my breath."
Then there is this issue:
Papas [city spokesman] says the city is looking into whether it can charge different fees for residents and nonresidents. If so, fire and vehicle extraction fees would apply to everyone, but only nonresidents would pay to have accidents investigated.
A visitor to Duluth gets into a car accident and is handed a multiple choice questionnaire by the investigating officer.
Check1 if you are a visitor, 2 if resident.
If visitor, provide credit card number. If other vehicle is resident, check 3.
If other vehicle is visitor, check 4.
Do you wish an investigation? How much shall do you wish to spend?
"No officer. I think I will pass on the investigation. Just doing a bit of defensive driving there. Wish it had worked out a bit better. If you don't mind, I need to catch a cab."
But the good people of Duluth need not worry. The inspiration for this genius idea was:
"He says the plan is modeled on a similar ordinance in Burnsville."
That is hardly comforting.
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