[Adopted 8-21-2001 by Ord. No. 1114 (Ch. 7, Part 5, of the 1999 Code of Ordinances)]
The Council of the Borough has determined that the increase in costs to provide the adequate fire prevention and protection services, and for other public safety emergency services, including catastrophes that result from extraordinary and dangerous occurrences, both natural and man-made, including, but not limited to, hazardous materials spills, explosions, landslides, acts of God and fires, have seriously impaired the Borough's ability to provide all necessary municipal services.
The Borough contributes substantial funds to amortize some of the cost of the volunteer fire companies, and the Borough owns and maintains various fire-fighting and rescue equipment and incurs the cost for workers' compensation provided to volunteer fire and ambulance members.
In order to protect public health, safety and welfare, and to protect and preserve public funds and tax dollars, the Borough hereby adopts a policy of partial reimbursement of the expenses and costs incurred in providing such service.
Either the Borough Manager, on behalf of the volunteer fire companies, or the Fire Chief shall request and collect all fees for fire prevention and safety protection services and for other emergency services. Such fees may include and encompass all cost for manpower, equipment, materials, maintenance and overhead expenses.
Within 30 days of the date of providing fire prevention and protection services or any other public safety and emergency services as enumerated in § 126-14 of this article, the Borough Manager or the Fire Chief shall submit a claim for the fees hereinafter established as follows:
For residential fire, car rescues or other such service involving the volunteer fire companies, the claim submitted shall be reimbursed solely from insurance coverage, if such coverage exists.
For commercial realty, multiresidential realty or industrial use realty, utility service and commercial use vehicles, the fee request may be billed either to the insurance carrier or to the business owner, utility company or the owner of the multiresidential realty or commercial vehicle.
Fees imposed by the Borough:
Residential fires may be billed up to a maximum of $500.
Apartment fires may be billed up to a maximum of $500 per apartment.
Commercial fires may be billed up to a maximum of $1,000.
Industrial fires may be billed up to a maximum of $5,000.
Other structural fires may be billed up to a maximum of $1,000.
Vehicle, rubbish, trash and miscellaneous fires may be billed up to a maximum of $250.
Vehicle rescue response may be billed up to a maximum of $500.
Hazardous material cleanup, landslides or cleanup due to natural or man-made forces may be billed a maximum of $500 per hour, plus cost for the cleanup materials, plus 20% of the cost of materials.
Standby response fee for utility services interruptions, which include, but are not limited to, service interruptions or breaks in electrical line, telephone line, cable line, utility pole, light standard or pipeline breaks or leaks, or any other exigency which requires the fire company to stand by while the utility company, cablevision company or any other entity that utilizes a pipeline, gasline, electric line, telephone pole or light standard in the Borough makes repairs, shall be $50 an hour for each hour subsequent to the first hour, and, if two or more units are needed, then the fee is $100 per hour. If the standby response occurs at multiple locations, then the aforesaid fee is applicable at each location.
All fire companies or the Borough Manager shall accept the insurance carrier's payment as payment in full for the residential fire fee. At no time will the residents of the Borough be personally responsible for payment of the fee or any portion of the fee for fires involving the residence, a personal vehicle, rubbish or vegetation on residential property. All buildings, including outbuildings that are located on residential property, shall be classified as residential fires. A letter will be sent to the owner of the Borough residence explaining that the residents are not personally responsible to pay the fee, and if the insurance carrier does not pay the fee claimed, or there is no insurance coverage, then the fee is waived for residential fires.
All such bills shall be expected to be paid within 60 days of the receipt thereof, and interest shall accumulate thereafter on any unpaid balance at the rate of 10% per annum until paid.
In addition to any fees due, any fine and penalty that results from said fire shall also be paid, and if any fees or expenses are imposed upon the Borough or the volunteer fire company by any local, state or federal agency which relate to the same incident or occurrence for which the Borough has provided its services and assessed a fee, such costs as imposed on the Borough or its volunteer fire companies by any local, state or federal agency may be included in the Borough's bill or may be billed separately within 30 days of receipt of such local, state or federal cost or bill and shall be forwarded to the owner of the realty or vehicle, who shall have 30 days from receipt to reimburse the Borough said cost.
The Borough may enforce the provisions of this article by civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for the collection of any amounts due hereunder, plus attorneys' fees, and may pay for any other relief that may be appropriate, including equitable relief.
The fees set forth in this article shall be delivered to and for the use of the volunteer fire companies. The volunteer fire company in whose district the fire occurred is entitled to the fee even if said fire company was assisted by other companies. In the event that the fire occurs in realty that is located in more than one district, then the fee shall be split between the appropriate fire companies.
The fees heretofore set forth are not inclusive of all the remedies that the Borough or its volunteer fire companies may pursue. The Borough or its volunteer fire companies, their agents, officials, employees or members have the right to pursue any other legal remedy or to recover any other cost against any person, regardless of payment of the prescribed fees.