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City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Easton 9-23-1992 by Ord. No. 3226 (Art. 1507 of the 1965 Codified Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Reimbursement for cleanup costs — See Ch. 311, Art. I.
Municipal claims and liens — See Ch. 369.
[Amended 6-26-2013 by Ord. No. 5413]
A. 
Director of Finance. The Director of Finance or such official's designee is hereby appointed as the officer who is authorized to carry out all responsibilities and duties herein.
B. 
Fire loss. Fire loss or claim for fire damage means any loss covered under a policy of fire and property casualty insurance, including any endorsements or riders to the policy.
C. 
Delinquent tax, assessment, penalty or user charge. A tax, assessment, penalty or user charge becomes delinquent at the time and on the date a lien could otherwise have been filed against the property by the municipality under applicable law.
[Amended 6-26-2013 by Ord. No. 5413]
A. 
No insurance company, association or exchange (hereinafter the "insuring agent") doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall pay a claim of a named insured for fire damage to a structure located within the City (hereinafter the "municipality") where the amount recoverable for the fire loss to the structure under all policies exceeds $7,500, unless the named insured or insuring agent is furnished by the Director of Finance with a municipal certificate pursuant to Section 508(b) of Act 98 of 1992, as amended by Act 93 of 1994, and unless there is compliance with Section 508(c) and (d) of Act 98 of 1992, as amended by Act 93 of 1994, and the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The Director of Finance shall, upon the written request of the named insured specifying the tax description of the property, name and address of the insuring agent and the date agreed upon by the insuring agent and the named insured as the date of the claim, furnish the insuring agent within 14 working days of the request a certificate showing the amount of delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and user charges against the property and total costs that have been incurred by the municipality for the removal, repair and securing of a building or other structure on the property and due and owing the municipality as of the date specified in the request, if any. In the event there are no delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property and there are no costs incurred by the municipality for the removal, repair or securing of a building or other structure on the property, at the discretion of the municipality, the Director of Finance may issue a verbal notification of such, which shall be confirmed in writing by the Director of Finance.
[Amended 9-12-2001 by Ord. No. 4006; 6-26-2013 by Ord. No. 5413]
Upon the receipt of a certificate from the Director of Finance that there are delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges, or costs incurred by the City for the removal, repair and securing of a building or other structure on the property, the insuring agent shall pay to the Director of Finance an amount from the insurance proceeds necessary to pay the taxes, assessments, penalties, charges and costs as shown on the certificate, or the full amount of the insurance proceeds, whichever is the lesser amount. The City shall receive the amount and apply or credit it to the payment of the taxes, assessments, penalties, charges and costs due and owing to the City. In the event the Director of Finance issues a certificate indicating that there are no delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges, or costs incurred by the City for the removal, repair and securing of a building or other structure on the property, the insuring agent shall pay the claim of the named insured to the named insured; provided, however, that if the loss as agreed upon by the named insured and the insuring agent equals or exceeds 60% of the aggregate limits of liability of all fire policies covering the building or structure, the following procedures shall be followed:
A. 
The insuring agent shall transfer from the insurance proceeds to the Director of Finance the aggregate of $2,000 for each $15,000 of a claim and for each fraction of that amount of a claim, this section to be applied such that if the claim is $15,000 or less, the amount transferred to the City shall be $2,000;
B. 
If at the time of a proof of loss agreed to between the named insured and the insuring agent, the named insured has submitted a contractor's signed estimate of the costs of removing, repairing or securing the building or other structure, the insuring agent shall transfer to the City from the insurance proceeds the amount specified in the estimate.
C. 
The transfer of proceeds shall be on a pro rata basis by all companies, associations or exchanges insuring the building or other structure.
D. 
After the transfer, the named insured may submit a contractor's signed estimate of the costs of removing, repairing or securing the building or other structure, and the designated officer shall return the amount of the funds transferred to the City in excess of the estimate to the named insured, if the City has not commenced to remove, repair or secure the building or other structure.
E. 
Upon receipt of proceeds under this section, the City shall do the following:
(1) 
The designated officer shall place the proceeds in the separate fund to be used solely as security against the total costs of removing, repairing or securing the building or structure which are incurred by the City. Such costs shall include, without limitation, any engineering, legal or administrative costs incurred by the City in connection with such removal, repair or securing of the building or any proceedings related thereto.
(2) 
It is the obligation of the insuring agent when transferring the proceeds to provide the City with the name and address of the named insured. Upon receipt of the transferred funds and the name and address of the named insured, the designated officer shall contact the named insured, certify that the proceeds have been received by the City and notify the named insured that the procedures under this subsection shall be followed.
(3) 
When repairs, removal or securing of the building or other structure have been completed in accordance with all applicable regulations and orders of the City and the required proof of such completion received by the designated officer, and if the City has not incurred any costs for repairs, removal or securing, the fund shall be returned to the named insured. If the City has incurred costs for repairs, removal or securing of the building or other structure, the costs shall be paid from the fund, and if excess funds remain, the City shall transfer the remaining funds to the named insured.
(4) 
To the extent that interest is earned on proceeds held by the City pursuant to this section, and not returned to the named insured, such interest shall belong to the City. To the extent the proceeds are returned to the named insured, interest earned on such proceeds shall be distributed to the named insured at the time that the proceeds are returned.
F. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the City to undertake the obligation of the property owner to secure, repair or demolish the damaged structures or the property owner's obligation to comply with all health, safety, building and fire laws.
G. 
The Director of Finance shall apply any funds received pursuant to Subsection A above, first, toward payment of costs incurred by the City to remove, repair or secure the buildings or other structures on the property and, second, toward the payment of any delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and user charges against the property. In the event that the City had not yet incurred or does not incur costs to remove, repair or secure the building, the funds received pursuant to Subsection A above shall be held by the Director of Finance in further escrow pending completion of all required repairs or removal of the structures on the property, and the funds shall not be applied toward delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and user charges until the structures on the property have been fully repaired or removed as may be required.
Council may by resolution adopt procedures and regulations to implement Act 98 of 1992 and this chapter and may by resolution fix reasonable fees to be charged for municipal activities or services provided pursuant to Act 98 of 1992 and this chapter, including but not limited to issuance of certificates and bills, performance of inspections and opening separate fund accounts.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5165]
Any owner of property, any named insured or any insuring agent who violates this chapter shall be subject to a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both.