[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of New Haven 9-10-2002 by Ord. No. 281. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Fire Department Ambulance and Police Cost Recovery Ordinance."
The following words and phrases as used herein shall have the following meanings:
- ALARM ORIGINATOR
- Any of the following: the person, partnership or cooperation or limited-liability company who or which requested the installation of the alarm system; or the person, partnership, cooperation or limited-liability company who or which either has an ownership interest in the premises, a leasehold interest, or possesses and occupies the subject premises. In the event the premises are owned or occupied by a partnership or corporation, each partner of the partnership, and each officer and director of the corporation, shall be deemed an originator. With respect to motor vehicle alarms, the owner, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is the originator of the alarm. Excluded from this definition are persons who use self-contained alarm systems which signal or alert other authorized persons who are on the premises with respect to an emergency condition, provided such system does not utilize an audible signal emitting sounds or light designed to alert persons who are outside of the premises of the emergency condition.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices or a single device arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention, and to which the Fire Department may be summoned directly or indirectly to respond, including, but not limited to, systems designed or used in combination for the following: the detection of fire, smoke or heat within a building, structure or vehicle.
- AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or combination thereof that will, upon activation, either mechanically, electronically, or by other means, initiate the automatic calling, dialing, or connection to any telephone number assigned to any public service, fire department or public agency by a public telephone line.
- All fees, charges, and other expenses associated with the response to, mitigation and clean-up of hazardous or dangerous materials and substances, including stand-by situations; all fees, charges and other expenses for the repair, decontamination or replacement of equipment, apparatus, materials and supplies; all fees, charges and other expenses necessarily incurred to ensure the protection of the public health, safety or welfare of the Village of New Haven and the persons therein without limitation to the amounts customarily incurred in providing emergency fire service and/or emergency ambulance and advanced life support services, including any manpower costs, mutual aid costs, and nonrecoverable equipment costs; and in the case of a negligently caused fire emergency, all fees, charges and other expenses incurred in providing emergency fire service or emergency ambulance and advanced life support services without limitation to the amount customarily incurred in providing emergency fire service or emergency ambulance and life support services, and including all manpower costs, mutual aid costs, and nonrecoverable equipment costs; all costs incurred as a result of the Fire Department responding to false alarms; and all costs incurred by the Fire Department, the EMS Authority or the Police Department in responding to a utility line failure.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm activation or condition which is registered at or reported to the New Haven Fire Department, either directly or indirectly. Also included is any alarm condition registered at or reported to either the Macomb County Sheriff's Department or the Hew Haven Fire Department not resulting from a fire or a potential fire condition. The false alarm does not include an alarm caused by hurricane, tornado, storm, earthquake or other violent conditions beyond the control of the alarm originator, or upon any extenuating circumstances as determined by the New Haven Fire Chief.
- HAZARDOUS OR DANGEROUS MATERIALS AND SUBSTANCES
- Any substance, including, but not limited to, alcohol, gun powder, dynamite, crude petroleum or any of its by-products, fuel oils, pyroxylin, corrosives, acids, poisons, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, chemicals, any combustible liquids or materials, and any other commodities of a similar nature or quality and all other substance which pose a fire hazard or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to the public health, safety or welfare, or endanger, cause, or are capable of causing loss, injury or damage to persons, property or the environment.
- NEGLIGENTLY CAUSED FIRE EMERGENCY
- A fire proximately caused by the negligence of the owner and/or occupant, including his agent, employee, contractor or child, of property or structure which presents a direct and immediate threat to public health and safety and requires an Ambulance Authority, EMS Ambulance Authority, or the New Haven Police Department.
- UTILITY LINE FAILURE
- The failure of or disabling of operation of a cable, conduit, wire, pipeline, or other transmission device used to transport electricity, natural gas, communication or electronic signals, water or sanitary or storm sewage when the party responsible for maintaining the cable, conduit, wire, pipeline, or transmission device fails to undertake repairs of the failing or disabling within a reasonable time, not to exceed one hour from the time the party responsible received notices of the failing or disabling, or when the party responsible fails to complete repair of the failing or disabling within a reasonable amount of time.
No person or entity shall operate, install, direct the installation of an alarm system, or use an alarm system that emits an audible and/or visual signal for a period of longer than 15 minutes from the initial activation of the device. All persons and entities who have an existing alarm system shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this chapter, bring the alarm system into conformity with this section. Whenever an alarm system continues to emit audible signals continuously or on a regular repeating basis for over 30 minutes and the owner and/or entity in possession and control of the premises cannot be contacted or does not respond within 30 minutes of being contacted, the audible signals create a nuisance per se and a disturbance of the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood, and any alarm originator shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, the Village and its designees shall be further authorized to disconnect or otherwise disable the alarm system by cutting wires, disconnecting speakers, or dialing other components of the alarm system that are located on the exterior of the premises, and the Village shall not be responsible to hold harmless and indemnify the alarm owner, under those circumstances, for such damage.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or penalties provided in order to defray the cost of responding to false alarms, a false alarm fee shall be charged for the second and subsequent false alarms within the same calendar year by the same alarm originator as set forth herein:
Fees for false alarms requiring Fire Department response:
In the event that optimal response is required (requiring significant deployment of manpower and equipment due to the nature of the building for which the alarm is given, including maximum uses as set forth in the Fire Department Code, NFPA sections, and other fire prevention ordinances adopted by New Haven, such as, but not limited to, multifamily residential with more than 12 units, institutions, high-hazard industries, and places of assembly of more than 100 persons):
The false alarm fees shall not apply in the case of the first two false alarms within the two-week period following installation of a new alarm system or the upgrading of an existing alarm system, provided that the Macomb County Sheriff's Department, the New Haven Fire Department and the New Haven Police Department have been notified of the installation or change. In addition, the false alarm fee shall only be imposed where false alarms are actually responded to by fire or police personnel.
False alarm fees shall not apply where the alarm system has malfunctions, provided that corrective measures have been undertaken within 10 days after the false alarm and a copy of the repair order documenting the completed repaired by a licensed alarm service contractor is furnished within 30 days to the New Haven Fire Department. Notwithstanding the above, in any calendar year, this procedure shall excuse no more than three false alarms. Should a fourth false alarm result, a fourth alarm fee shall be paid for fourth or subsequent alarms.
It shall be unlawful for any person, or entity, to willfully assist in giving, or cause to be given, any false alarm in any manner; provided that this subsection shall not apply to members of the New Haven Fire Department.
The New Haven Fire Department and the New Haven Police Department shall have the authority to collect all costs incurred, as defined in the definition of “costs” in § 202-2, in providing emergency fire service or emergency ambulance and advanced life support services in situations which involve hazardous or dangerous materials, as defined in § 202-2, the authority to collect all costs, as defined in § 202-2, for any negligently caused fire emergency, as defined in § 202-2, and any costs, as defined in § 202-2, arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, or off-road vehicle (ORV) by a person who is impaired or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substances or by a person in violation of any arrestable misdemeanor and/or felony driving offense under Michigan law, and any costs resulting from a false alarm as defined herein, and any costs that results from a response to a utility lien failure. In addition, the New Haven Village President shall have the authority to direct the Village Attorney to institute litigation, where necessary, to collect such costs, and the New Haven Village President shall have the authority to add any unpaid costs to the property tax bill of any New Haven Village property owner who owes New Haven such costs.
With respect to any costs incurred in connection with hazardous or dangerous materials and substances, all such costs shall be charged against and be the responsibility of the owner, operator and/or person of the property, equipment, vehicle or container, causing, contributing, allowing or failing to manufacture, keep, store, transport or otherwise handle or dispose of hazardous or dangerous materials or substances in a manner by a method so as to not constitute a fire hazard or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to the public health, safety or welfare, or to endanger or cause loss, injury or damage to persons, property or the environment. With respect to costs incurred in connection with a negligently caused fire emergency, all such costs shall be charged against and be the responsibility of the owner and/or occupant of the property, and/or his agent, employee or contractor. With respect to any costs arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, or off-road vehicle (ORV), by a person who is impaired by or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substances, or in violation of any Michigan statutes, all such costs shall be charged against and be the responsibility of the person who is found guilty of those offenses and/or the owner or the motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, or off-road vehicle (ORV), provided that the device was being operated at the time of the violation with the implied consent of the owner. With respect to any costs arising out of a false alarm as defined herein, the alarm originator shall be responsible for such costs. With respect to any costs that result from a response to a utility line failure, the owner and/or operator of the utility line that fails shall be responsible. Such costs shall constitute a debt of the persons responsible and be collectible in the same manner as any legal obligation.
The New Haven Fire Department, EMS Ambulance Authority or the New Haven Police Department shall submit a statement showing the costs associated with the aforesaid emergency service and the amount of the fee charged pursuant to the provisions of the chapter to the person or persons responsible therefor by first class mail or personal service. With respect to a false alarm, a collection fee of $10 shall be imposed on the alarm originator even if false alarm fees are paid within 30 days.
Any person responsible for the aforesaid emergency services who fails to remit the fee charged within 30 days of the date of the statement of services rendered shall be considered delinquent unless an extension of time for payment is approved by the New Haven Village Council. All such delinquent accounts shall pay a late fee of 1% per month and shall be collected as provided by law.
The New Haven First Department shall be charged with administering false alarms as defined herein. Any alarm originator aggrieved with the fee imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to an appeal. Such appeals must be pursued on a form as approved by the Fire Chief and shall be filed within 30 days of the notice of the fee being imposed. The Appeal Board shall consist of the New Haven Fire Chief and the New Haven Village President. The person appealing shall be entitled to be present and present documents, witnesses or evidence supporting his or her appeal. However, if the appeal is denied, then the monthly interest as set forth above begins to run on that date. Furthermore, if such appeal is denied it will constitute an exhaustion of administrative remedies on the part of the person aggrieved.