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JEROME -- The mayor of the south-central Idaho city of Jerome says a $96,000 bill for firefighting costs would never have been sent to a resident if the city's elected leaders had been included in the process.

John Shine tells The Times-News that the city council would have reversed the bill generated after the April 30 downtown fire.

Emails obtained by the newspaper show Jerome Fire Chief Jack Krill messaging various city staffers about items in the bill before sending it to Sylvia Moore on May 17.

Following extensive news coverage, including KTVB's story on May 22, emails on May 23 show city staffers initially defending the bill before elected officials start to become involved, sometimes angrily.

The email trail ends there as Shine says he and others met in person to work on a statement cancelling the bill and regretting the error.

KTVB requested copies of the emails and other documents last week and is still awaiting a response from the city.

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