Alarm Permit Fees
Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:19 AM
If you have an alarm for your home or business, this will affect you. The current policy is a one-time $26 activation/change fee. Then after 4 false alarms where police respond, you get dinged $172 each time.
The new policy is a $40 activation/change fee, plus a $15 recurring annual fee! The false alarm charges allow for two freebies a year, then you start paying a fine (3 = $85, 4 = $100, 5+ = $150).
I'm all for the false alarm fine and think it should even be lowered to be only one freebie a year. False alarms are what consume resources. Not me owning a system. I think the activation fee and annual fee is just another B.S. money grab tax hidden as a "fee".
One potential key here is something that someone working for the City told me. They said that the fee increase is also due to the fact that they are now outsourcing the managing of the permits!!!! Really? That doesn't seem like it is something that warrants outsourcing. It really can't take all that much time to manage. Especially since we already have a process in place to manage things like business licenses.
If this is true, I'd bet that this outsourcing is one big reason for the fee increases. Just one more hand skimming off the top. I wouldn't be surprised if it was some City Counsel member's cousin or ex-City Manager that "won" a no-bid contract for the rights.
Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:49 PM
grandfathered or grandmothered (whatever) and not have to
pay a yearly fee???
Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:59 PM
By the way, I found out when I moved recently that you also have 10 days to file changes to the permit or they can fine you. They were lenient about this in the past, but I bet they won't be under the new policy!
I say lenient because I moved into a new home that had the permit sticker in the window. I assumed a permit was for the system itself, meaning that it already had a permit and I didn't need to do anything. After my house was broken into last year, and the police responded to my alarm, I received a letter saying I was in violation and didn't have a permit. I had 10 days to apply for a new permit or face a fine.
When I called, she said that technically they could have fined me with no grace period because I was suppose to get the new permit when I activated the system under my name rather than the previous owners. However, few people realize this so they were nice and had a grace period once the offense was detected.
I also found out that if any information on a permit changes (in this case, the name and contact info of the people living in the home), then the permit becomes invalid and you must apply for a new one. She gave me shady answers regarding a rental with a monitored system, as to whether or not you would need to reapply for a permit anytime you had new renters move in. That's because the permit is suppose to be the contact info for the person responsible for the alarm if it goes off, which would typically be the renter. She said it was a gray area because, technically, it should be the renter but you would "probably" be ok having the owner on file.
I'm sure if all this is being farmed out to a for-profit company, all the gray area and grace periods will change in favor of the fee collector.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 09:56 PM
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