[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Union 5-2-2001 by L.L. No. 2-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 118.
As used in this chapter, any inconsistent provision of law notwithstanding, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- BUILDING OFFICIAL
- The Building Official of the Town of Union.
- The Comptroller of the Town of Union.
- Any lien, including liens for taxes, special ad valorem levies, special assessments and municipal charges, arising by operation of law against property in favor of the Town and remaining undischarged for a period of one year or more.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Property upon which there is erected any residential, commercial or industrial building or structure, except a one- or two-family residential structure, located in the Town of Union outside the Villages of Johnson City and Endicott.
- SPECIAL LIEN
- A lien upon fire insurance proceeds pursuant to this chapter and § 22 of the General Municipal Law and § 331 of the Insurance Law and any amendments thereto.
The Comptroller shall file a notice of intention to claim against the proceeds of fire insurance policies, pursuant to § 22 of the General Municipal Law, with the State Superintendent of Insurance for entry in the index of liens maintained by him as provided in § 331 of the Insurance Law.
Prior to the payment of any proceeds of a policy of insurance for damages caused by fire to real property, which policy insures the interest of an owner and is issued on real property located within the Town, and following notification to the Comptroller by an insurer of the filing of a claim for payment of such proceeds, the Comptroller shall claim, by serving a certificate of lien, against such proceeds to the extent of any lien (including interest and penalties to the date of the claim) thereon, which claim, when made and perfected in the manner provided for in § 22 of the General Municipal Law and § 331 of the Insurance Law, shall constitute a special lien against such proceeds and shall, as to such proceeds, be prior to all other liens and claims, except the claims of a mortgagee of record named in such policy. Notice of the service of the certificate of the special lien shall be given to the insured by certified mail to the address as it appears on the records of the insurer.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed or construed to alter or impair the right of the Town to acquire or enforce the lien against property but shall be in addition to any other power provided by law to acquire or enforce such right.
The Building Official is empowered, authorized and directed to administer the provisions of this chapter. So far as practicable and subject to the approval of the Town Board, the services of all other Town departments and agencies shall be made available by their respective heads to the Building Official for the carrying out of his or her functions.
Whenever the proceeds of a policy of fire insurance will be or have been paid to the Town instead of an insured, all or part of such proceeds may be paid or released to the insured if the insured satisfies the Building Official that the affected premises has been or will be repaired or restored, that such repairs or restoration are in the public interest, and the insured is issued and complies with a certificate of the Building Official pursuant to this chapter. To secure such payment or release of proceeds, the insured must notify the Building Official, in writing, within 45 days after the mailing to the insured of a notice of the service of the certificate of special lien, of the intention to restore or repair the affected premises and must file with the Building Official a completed application with all required supporting documentation pursuant to this chapter within 60 days thereafter, unless the Building Official grants an extension for a stated period of time.
The release or return to the insured of any amounts to which he or she would otherwise be entitled to claim shall be subject to the following conditions:
Such release or return shall be subject to the repair or restoration of the affected premises, in accordance with applicable building laws, to the condition it was in prior to the time the lien of the Town arose, or to an improved condition.
The insured shall file with the Building Official an application in affidavit form with such supporting documentation as he or she shall require containing the following:
A complete description of the nature and extent of the damage to the insured premises and of the condition of the premises prior to the time the lien of the Town arose.
A complete description of the nature of the repairs or restoration to be undertaken and the cost thereof.
A statement as to the source of funds needed to complete such repairs or restoration if the insurance proceeds are not sufficient.
The name and address of each contractor who will effect such repairs or restoration.
An estimated time schedule showing how long the repairs or restoration, and each phase thereof, will take.
Such other information as may be required by the Building Official to enable him or her to determine whether the repairs or restoration are in the public interest and will be or have been timely and properly made.
Upon a preliminary approval by the Building Official of an application pursuant to Subsection B of this section, he or she may issue a certificate evidencing the right of release to the insured of amounts representing insurance proceeds, upon such conditions as may be set forth therein.
The repairs or restoration required shall be completed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the certificate prior to the release or return of any part of the insurance proceeds; provided, however, that the Building Official may, upon the written request of the insured and in his or her sole discretion, approve a prior release of such proceeds or a portion thereof, in a lump sum or in installments, where the insured certifies and demonstrates that such release is required to permit such repairs or restoration to go forward. Any such insurance proceeds released or returned prior to the completion of the repairs or restoration required by the Building Official may be paid directly to the contractor or contractors responsible for making such repairs or restoration. Such payment shall, to the extent thereof, release the Building Official from further liability to the insured.
Whenever the Building Official approves a release of all or part of the insurance proceeds prior to compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, the Building Official may require the insured to post an undertaking in an amount sufficient to assume the restoration or improvement of the property, obtain a performance bond or deposit such proceeds in an escrow account.
If the insured fails to notify the Town of his or its intention to repair or restore the affected premises as required in this chapter, fails to file a completed application pursuant to this chapter or fails to obtain a certificate from the Building Official or comply therewith within the time set forth, the right of the insured to assert a claim against the insurance proceeds, except to the extent they exceed the amount of the lien, shall terminate.
There shall be established in the office of the Comptroller a fund for the deposit of fire insurance proceeds to be held and applied in accordance with this chapter. Such funds shall not be held together with the general tax levies in the general fund.
Until termination of the insured's right to claim against the insurance proceeds, any proceeds received by the Town shall be deposited in a special fund and shall be retained therein. Upon termination of the insured's right to claim against the proceeds, the proceeds and any interest accrued thereon shall be applied to the liens affecting the premises in a manner determined by the Comptroller and may be transferred to the general fund.
The lien or liens against the affected premises upon which the special lien against proceeds is based shall continue in full force and effect, except to the extent that such lien or liens are or have been paid.
The Building Official may, pursuant to this chapter, release, compromise or adjust the special lien upon insurance proceeds created by this chapter. Any certificate issued by such Building Official pursuant to this chapter shall be for the purpose of preserving and evidencing the right of release of the special lien created by this chapter subject solely to the provisions of this chapter and shall not be deemed to be a contract subject to Town regulation. Any repair or restoration performed in anticipation of a release of insurance proceeds shall not be deemed to be a public work or municipal project or to have been done pursuant to a municipal contract.
The Building Official shall be empowered to promulgate rules and regulations and to adopt approved forms to be used by applicants.