Township of Three Oaks, MI
Berrien County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of the Township of Three Oaks as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-11-2017 by Ord. No. 29A]
This article is adopted for the purpose of providing for the collection of fees for services to the Township of Three Oaks (hereinafter referred to as the "Township") in the operation of its Fire Department. The source of fees for services will be from those receiving direct benefits from the Townships fire protection services. It is the further purpose of this article to assist in the funding of the Fire Department operation which remains, in part, an at-large governmental expense based upon the general benefits derived by all property owners within the Township from the existence of a Township Fire Department and its availability to extinguish fires within the Township and perform other emergency services.
A. 
The owners of any property receiving the following services rendered or performed by the Township Fire Department:
(1) 
House or structure fire.
(2) 
Automobile fire.
(3) 
Truck fire.
(4) 
Aircraft fire.
(5) 
Unauthorized grass or brush fire.
(6) 
Rubbish fire.
(7) 
Hazardous material cleanup services.
(8) 
False alarms; no charge for first call.
(9) 
Public safety, health and welfare response calls.
(10) 
Emergency rescue service (resident and nonresident).
B. 
Services shall be charged in accordance with a schedule of charges established by this article and approved by the Township Board. These charges shall be due and payable to the Township within 30 days after the charges are billed. This schedule of charges shall be established on the following basis:
(1) 
Cost per hour (pay scale per firefighter) of firefighters on scene.
(2) 
Cost per apparatus used:
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(a) 
Engine 2020: $250.
(b) 
Tanker 2032: $250.
(c) 
Grass Rig 2062: $100.
(d) 
Personnel Truck 2082: $150.
(e) 
Class A foam: $70.
(f) 
Road flares: $25.
(g) 
Oil-Dri®: $30.
(h) 
Dry chemical: $100.
(3) 
Cost of materials used (cost of materials).
(4) 
False alarms; no charge for first call.
C. 
When adopted by the Township Board, the schedule of charges shall be and are hereby incorporated herein. Said schedule and the exemption from said charges as set forth in § 144-4 hereof may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Township Board, and such changes shall not require a formal amendment of this article.
All of the foregoing charges shall be due and payable to the Township within 30 days after the date services are billed, and in default of payment, the charges shall be collectible as provided herein.
The following properties and services shall be exempt from the foregoing charges:
A. 
Single incident (first call) false alarms.
B. 
Fires caused by railroad trains, which are the specific statutory responsibility of railroad companies.
C. 
Fires involving federal, state, county, Township, village and other governmental real estate and/or property.
D. 
Fire services performed outside the jurisdiction of the Township under mutual aid contract with an adjoining unit of government.
E. 
Tax-exempt entities (churches, etc).
The Township Board hereby delegates the authority and responsibility for billing and collecting charges to the Township Clerk's office. The Township Clerk may, with the approval of the Township Supervisor, file suit in any court, if necessary, to collect any monies remaining unpaid and may pursue any and all other remedies provided by law for the collection of said charges. The Township Board reserves the right to waive charges in hardship cases as per federal poverty guidelines.
The foregoing charges shall not be exclusive of the charges that may be made by the Township for the cost and expense of maintaining a fire department, but shall only be supplemental thereto. Additionally, charges may be collected by the Township through general taxation by procedures provided by law or by a special assessment established as provided by law. General fund appropriations may also be made to cover such additional costs and expenses.
When a particular service rendered by the Township Fire Department directly benefits more than one property, the owner of each property benefited shall be liable for the payment of the full charge for such services. The interpretation and application of this section is hereby delegated to the Township Fire Chief, and his/her decision shall be final, subject only to appeal, within the time limits provided herein for payment, to the Township Board, and this section of the article shall be administered so that the charges shall only be collected from persons and property who benefit from the service.
Should any provision or part of the within article be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, the same shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the balance of this article, which shall remain in full force and effect.