Township of Park, MI
Ottawa County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of the Township of Park as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-10-2009 by Ord. No. FE-1]
This article is adopted to provide reimbursement to the Township relative to certain fire and emergency services rendered by Park Township Fire Department. The Township has authority under MCLA § 41.806a to adopt an ordinance authorizing the recovery of these kinds of expenses. The Township has determined that adopting such an ordinance is in the best interests of the public health, safety and welfare of the Township.
The following terms are defined for the purposes of interpreting and applying this article as follows:
FALSE ALARM
Any device, automated or manual, that is designed to request or summon a Township Fire Department response, which device is activated, intentionally or otherwise, in the absence of an actual need for emergency assistance. The determination that there was no actual need for emergency assistance shall be made by the Township Fire Chief.
FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE
Coming to the scene of a fire or release of hazardous materials, traffic or vehicular accident, or hazardous condition, or any investigation in connection with a fire, release of hazardous materials, accident or hazardous condition.
HAZARDOUS CONDITION
Any condition creating a concern for the physical welfare of persons in the immediate area of the situation (including downed utility lines or gas leaks not in an occupied structure), requiring a Fire Department response.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
To the extent such materials do not qualify as a "hazardous substance" under MCLA § 324.20101, being Section 20101 of Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of Michigan, those elements, substances, wastes, or their by-products, which are contained in the list of hazardous substances adopted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA); or which are contained in the list of toxic pollutants designated by Congress or the EPA; or which are defined as hazardous, toxic, pollutant, infectious, flammable, combustible, explosive, or radioactive by any other federal, state, or local statute, law, ordinance, code, rule, regulation, order, or decree regulating, relating to, or imposing liability or standards of conduct concerning any hazardous, toxic, or dangerous waste, substance or material, as now in effect.
INVESTIGATION
Gathering of evidence or data in connection with arson investigations, or special investigations required to determine the responsibility of persons for fires, spills, accidents or hazardous conditions. Investigations do not include the normal investigation made to determine cause and origin of a fire as required by the State of Michigan.
RECOVERABLE EXPENSES
In connection with an incident, all actual costs or expenses incurred by the Township, including but not limited to each of the following:
(1) 
Charges for each fire department vehicle, including, but not limited to, pumpers, ladder trucks, tankers, rescue squads, brush units, command units and other vehicles. Hourly rates for these charges shall be established by resolution of the Township Board.
(2) 
Replacement costs for equipment that is contaminated or damaged beyond reuse or repair (by way of example and not limitation, items such as turn-out gear or self-contained breathing apparatus).
(3) 
All personnel-related expenses incurred by the Township, including but not limited to wages, salaries, fringe benefits, and insurance for full-time and part-time fire personnel, overtime pay and related fringe benefit costs for hourly employees, and fire run fees paid to on-call fire personnel. These personnel-related expenses will commence when the Fire Department has begun responding to the incident and shall continue until all Township personnel have concluded their incident-related responsibilities.
(4) 
Expenses of cleaning and decontaminating equipment.
(5) 
Technical consulting services specifically required as a result of the incident, including but not limited to technical experts or specialists not otherwise available to the Township.
(6) 
Laboratory costs of analyzing samples taken during the incident.
(7) 
Costs of cleanup, storage or disposal of the released hazardous material.
(8) 
Medical and hospital expenses incurred as results of the incident.
(9) 
Legal, engineering, accounting, billing, collection and other administrative expenses incurred as a result of the incident, including, but not limited to, efforts to recover expenses pursuant to this article.
RELEASE
Any leaking, spilling, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment.
PERSON
A natural person, corporation, partnership or other entity with legal capacity.
Pursuant to the authority granted by Public Act 33 of the Public Acts of 1951, as amended, and as further amended by Public Acts of 1990, found in MCLA §§ 41.801 and 41.806(a), the Township shall render charges to persons or properties served by Park Township Fire Department for certain specific services for conditions described as follows.
(1) 
Any Fire Department response to a fire when said fire has been started for the specific purpose of and with the intent of causing damage to or destruction of any such building, dwelling, appurtenant structure, vehicle or other property.
(2) 
Any Fire Department response to an incident caused by a criminal act, such as but not limited to DUI, intentional false alarm, arson, etc.
(3) 
Any Fire Department response to an incident causing damage or destruction to Fire Department equipment beyond normal wear and tear.
(4) 
Any Fire Department response that involves the need to call in an additional third party. All expenses incurred and paid by the Township to said third party shall be subject to cost recovery.
(5) 
Any Fire Department response requiring containment, abatements or any safety measure in connection with any release of hazardous materials. Charges in such case shall be made to the person responsible for the release, whether or not the release occurs on the property of the responsible party. The responsibility for the release includes releases caused by the person as well as any release from any vehicle, building, or other instrumentality owned, occupied or utilized by the person, regardless of fault.
(6) 
Any Fire Department response in connection with a hazardous materials incident. The responsible parties shall be responsible to the Township for the Recoverable Expenses relating to an incident. This responsibility shall be in addition to any other penalties, obligations, or remedies provided by law. The liability or responsible parties under this article shall be strict, joint and several, and without regard to fault.
(7) 
The cost of copies for Fire Department reports generated for any person, except for governmental entities.
(8) 
Any Fire Department response to a false alarm due to system malfunction or maintenance issue at a property that is not a single-family residence in excess of three such alarms in any consecutive twelve-month period.
(9) 
The provision of Fire Department equipment or personnel for the purpose of providing standby fire, rescue, or emergency medical services necessary to support a nonemergency event/situation hosted by a for-profit organization. When such services are requested by a nonprofit organization, the Township Board will act upon a recommendation by the Township Fire Chief to charge for services.
(10) 
Failure to comply with requests made by the Fire Department to abate hazards as specified in the fire safety codes as adopted by the Township. If compliance is not made within three inspection visits over a thirty-day period, the Fire Inspector will notify the Township Fire Chief, who will charge the person responsible for the property the appropriate fee as provided by resolution.
The following properties and services shall be exempt from the foregoing charges.
(1) 
Fires caused by railroad trains which are the specific statutory responsibility of railroad companies.
(2) 
Fire service performed outside the jurisdiction of the Township under a mutual aid contract with an adjoining municipality.
(3) 
Fire service performed for federal, state, county, township, village and other governmental real estate and/or property.
Persons responsible for charges include the following:
(1) 
Persons who caused the condition or incident.
(2) 
Property owners or occupants of property upon which the conditions exist.
(3) 
Owners or lessees of instrumentalities involved in the condition or incident, such as vehicle owners, utility or gas companies.
(4) 
Owners of vehicles from which occupants are extricated, owners or renters of premises from which a person or persons are rescued, and owners or renters of vehicles receiving fire extinguishment or spill abatement shall be deemed as benefiting from the services provided.
(5) 
Insurers or guarantors for persons responsible or benefited.
When a particular service rendered by the Township directly benefits more than one person or property, each person responsible as set forth above shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the full charge for such service hereinbefore outlined. The interpretation and application of the within section is hereby delegated to the Township Fire Chief subject only to appeal, within the time limits for payment, to the Township Board.
The Township shall bill persons determined to be responsible for the incident charged for, or owners of property, for amounts set forth in the resolution determining charges. All bills rendered for charges shall be paid 30 days of the mailing of the billing.
The Township may proceed in district court by suit to collect any monies remaining unpaid and shall have any and all other remedies provided by law for the collection of said charges.
Charges for Fire Department response services enumerated above shall be determined by resolution of the Township Board.
All funds collected as a result of this article shall be used for the normal operations and maintenance of the Fire Department and its equipment.
The recovery of charges and expenses imposed under this article shall not relieve or limit the liability of any person under any other local ordinance, or state or federal law, rule or regulation. The remedies provided herein shall be in addition to those remedies provided by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of Michigan,[1] and nothing in this article shall prohibit the Township from also proceeding under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of Michigan to recover costs associated with responding to an incident involving hazardous materials or substances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 324.101 et seq.
No officer, agent, employee or member of the Township Board shall be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to any person as a result of any act or decision performed in the discharge of duties and responsibilities pursuant to this article.