Sunfish Lake City Code

SECTION 607.01 Title:

This ordinance shall be known, cited, and referred to as "The Alarm Ordinance," except as herein referred to as "this ordinance."

 

SECTION 607.03 Purpose and Scope:

To protect the public health, safety and welfare, the City Council deems it necessary to provide for the special and express regulations of alarm systems which are designed to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which public safety personnel are expected to respond.  The City Council finds that the regulation of alarm systems is necessary in order to reduce the increasing frequency of false alarms in the City.  The great number of and increasing frequency of these false alarms require intensive and time consuming efforts by the police and fire departments and thereby distract from and reduce the level of services available to the rest of the community.  This diminishes the ability of the City to promote the general health, welfare and safety of the community.  In consideration for the necessity on the part of the City to provide numerous public safety services to all segments of the community, without an undue concentration of public services in one area to the detriment of members of the general public, it is hereby decided that the alarm systems shall be regulated through the process described below.

 

SECTION 607.05 Definitions:

For the purposes of this Section 607, the following terms shall have the following mearnings.

Subd. 1 Public Safety Personnel:Public Safety Personnel" means duly authorized City police and fire personnel.

Subd. 2 Alarm User: "Alarm User" means the person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind in control of any building, structure, or facility wherein an alarm system is maintained.

Subd. 3 Public Safety Communications Center: "Public Safety Communications Center" is the facility used by the City to receive emergency requests for service and general information from the public to be dispatched to respective public safety personnel.

Subd. 4 Alarm System: "Alarm System" means and include any alarm installation designed to be used for the prevention or detection of burglary, robbery or fire or an emergency situation on the premises which contain an alarm installation.

Subd. 5 False Alarm: "False Alarm" means an alarm signal eliciting a response by public safety personnel when a situation requiring a response does not, in fact, exist, and which is caused by the activation of the alarm system through mechanical failure, alarm malfunctions, improper installation or the inadvertence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his/her employees or agents.

False alarms do not include alarms caused by climatic conditions such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, utility line mishaps, violent conditions of nature or any other conditions which are clearly beyond the control of the alarm manufacturer, installer or owner.

False alarms do not include alarms occurring in the first thirty (30) days of operation of a new alarm system.

 

SECTION 607.07 User Fees:

Subd. 1 False alarms for police response: An alarm system may report as many as two (2) false alarms requiring police response within a twelve (12) month period without charge.  A user fee of $50 shall be paid by the alarm user for the third false alarm requiring a police response within a twelve (12) month period.  A user fee of $100 per false alarm shall be paid by the alarm user thereafter for additional police responses within a twelve (12) month period.

Subd. 2 False alarm for fire department response: An alarm system may report as many as one (1) false alarm requiring fire department response within a twelve (12) month period without charge.  For the second false alarm within a twelve (12) month period that requires a fire department response, the alarm user shall pay a user fee of $150.  For any false alarm in a twelve (12) month period requiring a fire department response after the second false alarm, the alarm user shall pay a user fee equal to the sum of the following formula:

(a)$150 plus

(b)$100 times a multiplier which multiplier is the number of false alarms in a twelve (12) month period that required a fire department response minus two (2).

Subd. 3 Written appeal of a false alarm charge: An alarm user which is required by the City to pay a user fee as the result of a false alarm may make a written appeal of the false alarm charge to the City Administrator within ten days of receipt of notice by the City of the false alarm charge.  The City Administrator will have authority to make a final determination as to whether the appellant is to be charged with a false alarm, based on circumstances and culpability.

 

SECTION 607.09 Payment of Fees:  

Payment of user fees provided by under Section 607.07 must be paid to the City Treasurer within 30 days from the date of notice by the City to the alarm user.  Failure to pay the fee within 30 days' notice will cause the alarm user to be considered delinquent and subject to a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the fee.

 

SECTION 607.11 Alarm Equipment Specifications:

Except for equipment of a type or category for which no Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standards have been established, no robbery/burglary alarm equipment may be installed hereafter unless it is listed on the UL Burglary Protection Equipment List.  All equipment shall be installed according to UL standards.  This shall not be construed as requiring UL certification of an alarm system.

 

SECTION 607.13 Confidentiality:

All information submitted in compliance with this ordinance shall be held in confidence and shall be deemed a confidential record exempt from discovery to the extent permitted by law.  Subject to requirements of confidentiality, the Chief of Police or the Fire Chief, or their designees, may develop and maintain statistics for the purpose of ongoing alarm systems evaluation.

 

SECTION 607.15 Communications Center:  

No automatic dialing devices shall be connected to the public safety communications center through any telephone line.  Use of automatic dialing devices will be considered a violation of this ordinance.

 

SECTION 607.17 Enforcement and Penalties:

Subd. 1 Failure or omission to comply: Failure or omission to comply with any section of this ordinance shall be deemed a misdemeanor and may be so prosecuted, subject to the penalty provided in Subd. 2 of this section.

Subd. 2. Violation: Violation of this ordinance shall be punishable upon conviction by a fine of not more than $700, imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both.  (Ord. 1992-1, 7/7/92) (Ord. 1996-1, 3/4/96) (Ord. 96-20, 8/6/96)

 

SECTION 607.19  REMOTE MONITORING LOCATIONS:  

With respect to a fire alarm system that is monitored by a company or person at a location that is remote or off-site from the residence that contains the fire alarm system, the company or person providing the remote monitoring must verify the fire alarm signal with respect to the residence prior to reporting the fire alarm to the fire service or the Public Safety Communication Center, provided the verification process does not delay the reporting by more than 90 seconds.  (Ord. 2003-03, 11/4/03) 

 

SECTION 607.21  CERTIFICATION OF CHARGES FOR FALSE ALARMS TO THE DAKOTA COUNTYAUDITOR TO BECOME PAYABLE WITH PROPERTY TAXES WITH RESPECT TO THOSE PROPERTIES THAT HAVE NOT PAID SUCH CHARGES: 

Subd. 1.  Purpose and Intent:  The purpose and intent of this Section 607.21 is to enable the City to certify to the Dakota County Auditor any delinquent, unpaid charges and fees of an alarm user so that such unpaid charges and fees become payable with the real estate taxes for the property of the alarm user.  This Section 607.21 seeks to utilize the authority and powers contained in Minnesota Statutes §§ 366.011, 366.012 and 415.01 which provide as follows:

Minn. Stat. § 366.011.  Charges For Emergency Services Collection.

A town may impose a reasonable service charge for emergency services, including fire, rescue, medical, and related services provided by the town or contracted for by the town.  If the service charge remains unpaid 30 days after a notice of delinquency is sent to the recipient of the service or the recipient’s representative or estate, the town or its contractor on behalf of the town may use any lawful means allowed to a private party for the collection of an unsecured delinquent debt.  The town may also use the authority of section 366.012 to collect unpaid service charges of this kind from delinquent recipients of services who are owners of taxable real property in the town.

The powers conferred by this section are in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law for a town to impose a service charge or assessment for a service provided by the town or contracted for by the town.

Minn. Stat. § 366.012  Collection of Unpaid Service Charges.

If a town is authorized to impose a service charge on the owner, lessee, or occupant of property, or any of them, for a governmental service provided by the Town, the town board may certify to the county auditor, on or before October 15 for each year, any unpaid service charges which shall then be collected together with property taxes levied against the property.  A charge may be certified to the auditor only if, on or before September 15, the town has given written notice to the property owner of its intention to certify the charge to the auditor.  The service charges shall be subject to the same penalties, interest, and other conditions provided for the collection of property taxes.  This section is in addition to other law authorizing the collection of unpaid costs and service charges.

Minn. Stat. §415.01  Town Laws, Application; Exercise of Powers By City.

Subdivision 1.  General.  A town must not exercise the powers conferred in chapters 365 to 368 within the territory embraced within the limits of any city, but a city has and may exercise within its limits any of the powers conferred by these chapters upon towns.

Subd. 2. Charges For Emergency Services.

A city may exercise the power under sections 366.011 and 366.012 relating to charges for emergency services only if the city adopts an ordinance authorizing the manner and amount of charging for those services.

Subd. 2.  Certification of Charges To County Auditor For Payment With Real Estate Taxes:  If the alarm user does not pay the fees and charges imposed by Sections 607.07 and 607.09 of this Code, then, on or before October 15 of each year, the City Council may certify to the Dakota County Auditor any unpaid fees and charges which shall then be collected together with the property taxes levied against the property owned by the alarm user where the alarm system is located, provided, however, the following conditions must be met:

a.) Prior to September 15, the City must have given written notice to the property owner of the fees and charges that are owing; the written notice must state the property owner has thirty (30) days to make payment and if payment is not made the fees and charges are considered delinquent.

b.) Prior to September 15, the City must have given written notice to the property owner of the City’s intention to certify the delinquent fees and charges to the Dakota County Auditor.

c.) The property owner must have been given an initial period of thirty (30) days to pay the fees and charges.

d.) The fees and charges are still unpaid for thirty (30) days after the City has sent a written notice of delinquency to the property owner that informs the property owner that a delinquency has occurred because the fees and charges were not paid within the first thirty (30) days after the first notice of the fees and charges.  (Ord. 2003-02; 11/4/03) 

 

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.