[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of South Fayette as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 155.
[Adopted 2-19-2001 by Ord. No. 2-2001]
The Township Manager, or such officials as the Township Board of Commissioners may designate, (designated official) is hereby appointed as the designated official who is authorized to carry out all responsibilities and duties stated herein.
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 the fire damage to a structure located within the Township of South Fayette where the amount recoverable for the fire loss to the structure under all policies exceeds $7,500, unless the insuring agent is furnished by the designated official with a township certificate pursuant to the Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended, and unless there is compliance with the Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended, and the provisions of this chapter.
Editor's Note: See 40 P.S. § 638.
Pursuant to the Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended, the designated official shall issue a certificate indicating that there are no delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against real property, including the amount of the total costs, if any, certified to the Treasurer that have been incurred by a municipality for the removal, repair or securing of a building or other structure on the property. For the purposes of this subsection, the municipality shall certify to the Treasurer the total amount, if any, of such costs. Where there are delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties or user charges against the property (municipal claims), or there are expenses which the township has incurred as a cost for the removal, repair or securing of a building or other structure on the property (collectively, municipal expenses), the designated official of the township shall immediately render a bill for such work, if said person has not already done so. Upon written request of the named insured and the date of receipt specifying the tax description of the property, the name and address of the insurer and the date of the receipt by the insurer of a loss report of the claim, the Treasurer shall furnish a certificate within 14 working days after the request, to the insurer, (or at his discretion an oral notice confined in writing) either:
A tax, assessment, penalty and user charger shall become delinquent at the time and on the date a lien could otherwise have been filed against the property by the municipality under applicable law. The insuring agent may pay the claim of the named insured; provided, however, that if the loss agreed upon by the named insured and the insuring agent equals or exceeds 60% of the aggregate limits of liability on all fire policies covering the building restructure, the following procedures must be followed pursuant to the Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended:
The insuring agent shall transfer from the insurance proceeds to the designated official of the township in the aggregate of $2,000 for each $15,000 of a claim and for each fraction of that amount of a claim; this subsection is to be applied such that if the claim is $15,000 or less, the amount transferred to the township shall be $2,000.
If, at the time of a proof of loss agreed to between the named insured and the insuring agent, the name 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 township from the insurance proceeds the amount specified in the estimate.
The transfer of proceeds shall be on a pro rata basis by all companies, associations or exchanges insuring the building or other structure.
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 official shall return the amount of the funds transferred to the township in excess of the estimate to the named insured, if the township has not commenced to remove, repair or secure the building or other structure.
Upon receipt of proceeds under this section, the township shall perform the following:
The designated official shall place the proceeds in a 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 township. Such costs shall include, without limitation, any engineering, legal or administrative costs incurred by the township in connection with such removal, repair or securing of the building or any proceedings related thereto.
It is the obligation of the insuring agent when transferring the proceeds to provide the township 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 official shall contact the named insured, certify that the proceeds have been received by the township and notify the named insured that the procedures under this subsection shall be followed.
When repair, removal or securing of the building or other structure has been completed in accordance with all applicable regulations and orders of the township, and the required proof of such completion received by the designated official, and if the township has not incurred any costs for repair, removal or securing of the building or other structure, the fund shall be returned to the named insured. If the township has incurred costs for repair, removal or securing of the building or other structure, the costs shall be paid from the fund, and if excess funds remain, the township shall transfer the remaining funds to the named insured.
Pay to the Treasurer, for reimbursement to the township general fund, the amount of the township expenses paid by the township.
To the extent that interest is earned on proceeds held by the township pursuant to this section and not returned to the named insured, such interest shall belong to the township. To the extent that 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.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the township to recover any deficiency. Furthermore, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the township and the named insured from entering into an agreement that permits the transfer of funds to the named insured if some other reasonable disposition of the damaged property has been negotiated.
The Township of South Fayette may, by resolution, adopt procedures and regulations to implement the Fire Insurance Escrow Law as amended, and this article and may, by resolution, fix reasonable fees to be charged for municipal activities or services provided pursuant to the Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended, and this article, including, but not limited to, issuance of certificates and bills, performance of inspections and opening separate fund accounts. Said fees shall be the responsibility of the named insured.
Any person who has violated or knowingly permitted the violation of the provisions of this article shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the township, pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the township. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or be payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice.
If the violator neither pays the fine and court costs, nor timely appeals the judgment, the township may enforce the judgment.
All judgment, costs and reasonable attorney's fees collected for violations of this article shall be paid over to the township.
This article section shall be construed to accomplish its purpose to deter the commission of arson and related crimes, to discourage the abandonment of property and to prevent urban blight and deterioration.
Upon adoption of this article, a copy of said article, the information as required by 40 P.S. § 638(i), Fire Insurance Escrow Law, as amended, shall be forwarded by South Fayette Township to the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs.