Charter Township of Meridian
Ingham County
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Cross reference: Licenses, permits, and miscellaneous regulations, ch. 38.
[Code 1974, §§ 37-1—37-5; Ord. No. 2010-14, 10-26-2010]
(a) 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the terms below shall be defined as follows:
ALARMED PREMISES
Any building, property, or premises equipped with an alarm system.
ALARM SYSTEM
An assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention by the Police Department or Fire Department. Such signaling may be by way of an electrical or mechanical bell, telephone apparatus, computer or internet apparatus, or any other means by which the Police Department or Fire Department is signaled.
FALSE ALARM
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the owner or a lessee of an alarm system or of his employee or agent. False alarm does not include an alarm:
(1) 
Caused by a thunderstorm, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, or other violent condition beyond the control of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of their employee or agent;
(2) 
Activated by a person working on the alarm system with prior notification to the Township Police Department or Fire Department; or
(3) 
Activated by damage to public utility lines, when the affected public utility corroborates that the damage to such lines caused the alarm.
(b) 
Established. To defray the cost of responding to false alarms and to discourage the continuation of repeat false alarms, the owner and lessee of any alarmed premises shall be jointly and severally responsible to pay the Township fees for each occasion on which the Township Police Department or Fire Department responds to a false alarm from the alarmed premises. The Township Board shall establish a schedule of fees, which it may amend from time to time.
(c) 
Procedure. The Police Department and Fire Department shall report, monthly, a list of false alarms, identifying the alarmed premises and the responsible owners and lessees. The Township shall bill each responsible owner and lessee for the amounts due. All amounts billed by the Township under this section shall be due within 30 days after each billing. Upon the failure of the responsible owner or lessee to pay the amounts billed in full within 30 days of billing, the Township Treasurer shall have the right and power to add all unpaid amounts to the tax roles of the alarmed premises as a lien, and to levy and collect such unpaid amounts in the same manner as provided for the levy and collection of real property taxes against the alarmed premises. In addition, the Township Treasurer may collect any overdue amounts from the owner and lessee of the alarmed premises in any other manner permitted by law, including the filing of a collection suit in a court of competent jurisdiction. Any overdue amounts shall bear interest at the rate set forth in the annual schedule of fees.
(d) 
Appeal.
(1) 
Any owner or lessee that has been billed may appeal the assessment of a false alarm fee to the chief of the Township Police Department. Such appeal shall be in writing, shall be filed with the Chief of Police within 30 days after written notification of the assessment is sent by the Township, and shall state each and every reason why the alarm was not a false alarm or any other reason why the fee should not be paid, supporting such with adequate and verifiable facts. The Chief of Police shall render a decision on the appeal, and shall notify the appellant and the Township Treasurer of the decision in writing. The Chief of Police may, in his or her discretion, waive or reduce a fine for a false alarm, based on the information submitted.
(2) 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Chief of Police made pursuant to § 18-1(d)(1) may file a written appeal with the Township Manager within 30 days after the date of the written decision by the Chief of Police. The Township Manager shall determine whether the decision of the Chief of Police is supported by the documents and information in the file.
(3) 
The Township Treasurer shall defer collection of the false alarm fee while any appeal is pending; provided, however, that any interest allowed on the false alarm fee shall continue to accrue during the appeal period.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ASSESSABLE COSTS
The reasonable costs incurred by the Township, or by a private person, corporation, or other assisting government agency, operating at the request or direction of the Township, in connection with an incident involving a below ground, collapsed trench, structural collapse, confined space, high angle or other complex rescue situation or a terrorist act as defined in this article. The term "assessable costs" includes, but is not limited to:
(1) 
The costs of providing police, fire, rescue, and emergency medical services at the scene of such an incident.
(2) 
All salaries, wages, and compensation of responding, supervising, investigating, reporting, and testifying Township personnel for services rendered in connection with such an incident, its investigation or any prosecution brought in connection with same.
(3) 
All salaries, wages, and compensation of responding, supervising, investigating, reporting, and testifying personnel of any assisting government agencies acting at the request or direction of the Township for services rendered in connection with such an incident, its investigation or any prosecution brought in connection with same.
(4) 
All costs, expenses, and fees, including actual expert witness and attorney fees, incurred in connection with the prosecution of the responsible party.
(5) 
The replacement cost of all equipment, materials and supplies lost or rendered beyond reuse or repair as a result of such an incident.
(6) 
All rental or leasing costs incurred for equipment used in connection with such an incident.
RESPONSIBLE PARTY
Any person, firm, corporation, association, partnership, commercial entity, consortium, joint venture, or other legal entity whose actions or inactions cause, in whole or in part, an incident involving a below ground, collapsed trench, structural collapse, confined space, high angle or other complex rescue situation or terrorist act as defined in this section.
TERRORIST ACT
Conduct utilizing terror, intimidation, violence or the threat of violence to commit or aid in the commission of an unlawful act including, but not limited to, hijacking, assassination, and the use of explosives, biological or chemical agents to endanger persons or property.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
The Township finds that a significant and continuous potential exists for incidents involving a below ground, collapsed trench, structural collapse, confined space, high angle or other complex rescue situation or a terrorist act that will place a substantial financial and operational burden upon police, fire fighting, rescue, and emergency medical services. The Township finds that this article is necessary to fairly allocate the costs resulting from such incidents among those responsible for them. The Township further finds that this article is necessary to establish a policy and set forth the methods by which it may recover costs incurred in making appropriate responses and providing services in connection with same, pursuant to state law, including Public Act 33 of 1951, being MCL § 41.801 et seq.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
(a) 
The Township may recover all assessable costs relating to an incident involving a below ground, collapsed trench, structural collapse, confined space, high angle or other complex rescue situation or a terrorist act from any or all responsible parties jointly or severally.
(b) 
The Township Supervisor, or the Supervisor's designee, shall determine the total assessable costs and shall, in consultation with other Township personnel involved in responding to the incident for which cost recovery may be sought, determine whether to assess all or part of such costs against any responsible party. The factors considered in making such a determination include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) 
The total assessable costs.
(2) 
The risk the incident presented to the Township, its residents, and their property.
(3) 
Whether the incident resulted in any injury or damage to person or property, and the extent of such injury or damage.
(4) 
The extent to which the incident required an unusual or extraordinary use of Township personnel and equipment.
(5) 
Whether the incident resulted in any damage to the environment and the extent of such damage.
(6) 
Such other factors as the Township deems appropriate.
(c) 
Assessable costs may be allocated among and between responsible parties, including allocating all or some assessable costs jointly and severally against more than one responsible party, regardless of whether a responsible party has liability for those costs in addition to that imposed by this article.
(d) 
A determination not to assess costs pursuant to this article shall in no way limit, extinguish, or constitute a defense to the liability of any responsible party to any third party.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003; Ord. No. 2010-14, 10-26-2010]
(a) 
Upon a determination to assess costs made pursuant to this article, the Township shall submit an itemized invoice, by first class mail or personal service, to each responsible party. Invoices for assessable costs will be due and payable within 30 days of the date of mailing. Thereafter a late payment fee equal to 1% per month of the unpaid balance shall be assessed, added to the total unpaid balance, and collected in the same manner as assessable costs.
(b) 
If a responsible party appeals an assessment of costs, and that assessment is upheld in whole or in part, the costs upheld shall be due and payable within 30 days from the date of determination of the appeal and late payment fees shall thereafter apply as provided in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) 
The Township may proceed by action in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect any assessable costs due and owing under the provisions of this article and it shall have all remedies provided by law in connection with the collection of same.
(d) 
In addition to any other remedy provided for in this section, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, if the assessable costs are incurred in connection with a specific parcel of property owned or leased by a responsible party, the Township shall have the right and power to add all assessable costs to the tax rolls of the specific parcel of property as a lien, and to levy and collect such assessable costs in the same manner as provided for the levy and collection of real property taxes against the property.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
(a) 
Any responsible party may appeal a determination and invoice of assessable costs as provided for in this section. Within seven business days of the date of mailing the invoice, the responsible party shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, a written request to meet with the Township Supervisor or designee. This request must include the current address and telephone number of the responsible party and specify all objections to the assessment determination. Any reason, basis, or argument challenging that determination which is not set forth in the request shall be deemed waived by the responsible party.
(b) 
Within seven business days after receipt of a request satisfying the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the Township will notify the responsible party of the time, date, and place of a meeting at which that party's objections will be considered by the supervisor or designee. The responsible party's failure to attend this meeting will constitute a waiver of that party's objections to the assessment determination.
(c) 
The supervisor or designee may, at the conclusion of the meeting with the responsible party, or within a reasonable time thereafter, reduce, increase, set aside, or leave unchanged the determination of assessable costs. Written notification of the decision made by the supervisor or designee will be mailed to the responsible party at the address provided by the responsible party.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
(a) 
The decision of the supervisor or designee to reduce, increase, or leave unchanged a determination of assessable costs may be appealed to the Township Board if the responsible party has fully complied with § 18-16, above and files a written request for Township Board review with the Township Clerk not later than seven business days after the date of the written notification of the decision sought to be appealed.
(b) 
Upon receipt of a request for Township Board review, the Township Clerk will place the appeal on the agenda of a regularly scheduled Township Board meeting which is at least 14 calendar days after the date the responsible party's request for Township Board review is received.
(c) 
On appeal of a determination of assessable costs to the Township Board the responsible party shall appear before the board in person or through a designated representative; limit objections only to those set forth in the written request as required by § 18-16; and have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of relevant facts, that the determination appealed from is erroneous in whole or in part.
(d) 
On appeal of a determination of assessable costs, the Township Board shall, within a reasonable time, reverse, affirm, or modify the determination appealed from. The decision of the Township Board shall be final when made.
(e) 
The Township Clerk shall notify the responsible party in writing of the Township Board's decision on appeal.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
If any section, subsection, clause, paragraph, or provision of this article shall be adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall only apply to the portion adjudicated invalid, and the remainder of this article shall remain in full force and effect.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
All proceedings pending and all rights and liabilities existing, acquired, or incurred at the time this article takes effect are hereby saved, and such proceedings may be continued and concluded under and according to the ordinances in force at the time such proceedings are, or were, commenced. This article shall not be construed to alter, affect, or abate any pending proceeding or prevent proceedings hereafter instituted under any ordinance in existence prior to the effective date of same. All proceedings instituted after the effective date of this article for any liabilities arising before the effective date of this article may be continued or instituted under and in accordance with the provisions of any ordinance in force at the time of the event giving rise to liability.
[Ord. No. 2003-04, 4-1-2003]
This article shall become effective upon publication after final adoption.