Appalachian Impact director Justin Bowers attended the Aug. 31 Firefighters Association meeting to show members the website he developed. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

There’s a new website where you can learn about a potential Upshur County fire fee increase — and why fire departments say it’s needed

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Firefighters Association has developed a new website to display facts about the county fire fee and its potential increase.

Appalachian Impact director Justin Bowers attended the Aug. 31 Firefighters Association meeting to show members the website he developed after Banks District Volunteer Fire Chief John Roby hired him.

“This is a very simple, scrollable web page that allows us to get some information about the fire fee, so you can see the cover page, fire fee information and fast facts,” Bowers said. “When we scroll down, there is more information built off the data I was provided, and if there’s any updates or changes, I’m happy to change those — it’s very easy to do.”

The new website can be found at, and it explains what the fire fee is, the background of the fee and what the fee pays for.

“It explains that costs have increased, including administration supplies, postage, firefighting equipment, training, maintenance, repairs to trucks and equipment, office costs, etc.,” Bowers said. “I know each of those could be expanded; there’s a lot more information that can go there, but when I built this, I was thinking about the attention span of those who are surfing, trying to keep it very brief, but everything can be edited.”

The website also lists the proposed increase, which would increase from $5 to $10 for people who own five or more vacant acres, residents would receive an increase from $25 to $50, and owners of commercial properties would see an increase from $50 to $100.

“If you look down at the bottom, you’ll see this phone symbol so that people can call that number with questions, and we also have the email address that’s clickable, and it’ll allow someone to click and draft up an email,” Bowers said. “The QR code, which you can scan with a phone, opens a Google form, which allows people to fill out their information and express their interest in learning more about the fee.”

Upshur County Firefighter Association President Tyvonne Gibson said anyone interested in signing the petition can use any contact information on the website to organize a convenient time and place.

Currently, the association has gathered about 100 signatures, and an increase would require 1,144 or 10 percent of the qualified voters in the county.

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