PITTSFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN
ORDINANCE No. 323
AMENDING CHAPTER 7,
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 7 OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE.
PITTSFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP, WASHTENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN, HEREBY ORDAINS:
That Article IV of Chapter 7, Sections 7-72 and 7-73 of the Pittsfield Charter Code of Ordinances are amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7 EMERGENCY SERVICES
ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL
Secs. 7-1-7-30. Reserved.
ARTICLE II. HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES RESPONSE COST RECOVERY
Sec. 7-31. Purpose.
This article is enacted to ensure the responsible party for an environmental incident resulting from an unauthorized release of hazardous substances is liable for cleanup of the affected area as well as recoverable expenses incurred by the township in response to, and clean-up of, the environmental incident.
Sec. 7-32. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the following meanings, except where the context of the article clearly indicates a different meaning:
Hazardous substance means one or more of the following:
(1) "Hazardous substance" as defined in Part 201, Environmental Remediation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, (MCL 324.20101 (1)(t)).
(2) "Hazardous waste" as defined in Part 111, Hazardous Waste Management of the Natural Resources And Environmental Protection Act (MCL 324.11101 et seq.).
(3) "Liquid industrial waste" as defined in MCL 324.12101 n.
(4) "Petroleum" as defined in Part 213, Leaking Underground Storage Tanks of the National Resources and Environmental Protection Act (MCL 324.21301a, et seq.).
(5) A chemical or other material which is, or may become, injurious to public health, safety or welfare of the environment.
Release includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing of a hazardous substance into the environment or the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers and other closed receptacles containing a hazardous substance.
Responsible party means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation including government corporation,
association, local unit of government, commission, the state, a political subdivision of the state, an interstate body, the federal government, a political subdivision of the federal government or any other legal entity that owns, uses, controls, leases, accepts for transport, storage, treatment or disposal, any hazardous substance released into the environment or ignited by unauthorized burning.
Sec. 7-33. Charges imposed upon responsible party.
If a responsible party does not or cannot perform such environmental incident cleanup in a reasonable time, the director of public safety or director's designee of the township shall perform or cause to be performed a cleanup of the environmental incident. The responsible party shall be financially responsible for any and all recoverable expenses.
All responsible parties are jointly and severally liable for, and shall be required to reimburse the township for, all costs incurred in responding to a release of hazardous substances including, but not limited to:
(1) Costs or expenses incurred by the township fire and police departments, public service departments, hazardous response teams and other public safety officials and/or any other departments or agencies contracted by the township to supply services, including all actual expenses attributable to the response, control, or abatement of any hazardous substances release or threatened release, including costs of equipment operations and personnel, costs of materials utilized, meals for all personnel involved in the incident, costs of specialists, medical expenses for exposure, injuries or illnesses resulting from an incident, experts or other contract labor, costs incurred by other area fire, police or hazardous material response teams requested through mutual aid agreements with the township or its agents, if any, and any other incidental costs incurred by the township as a result of the release.
(2) Other expenses incurred by the township or its agents in responding to the hazardous substances release, including but not limited to, rental or purchase of machinery, equipment, labor, consultants, legal and engineering fees, medical and hospitalization costs and the replacement costs related to disposable personal protective equipment, extinguishing agents, supplies and water purchased from municipal water systems.
(3) Charges to the township or its agencies imposed by any local, state or federal government entities related to hazardous substances.
(4) Costs incurred in accounting for all hazardous substance release and related expenditures, including billing and collection costs and attorney fees.
Sec. 7-34. Collection of charges imposed.
Subsequent to the release of a hazardous substance, the director of public safety or director's designee of the township, shall prepare and cause to be delivered, an invoice of the charges imposed by section 7-33 to the responsible party or parties for payment.
The responsible parties shall reimburse the township for charges set forth in the invoice within 30 days of the date of invoice or mailing date, whichever is later. Any amount remaining unpaid 30 days after the payment due date shall be referred for collection as outlined in section 7-35.
Sec. 7-35. Other remedies.
The township may pursue any legal remedy or may initiate any appropriate action or proceeding as provided by law to collect charges imposed under this article. The recovery of charges imposed under this article does not limit liability of responsible parties under local ordinances or state or federal laws, rules or regulations.
Sec. 7-36. Right to appeal.
A person or entity deemed to be a responsible party under this section may appeal the determination as set forth in article V.
Secs. 7-37-7-50. Reserved.
ARTICLE Ill. FALSE ALARMS
Sec. 7-51. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the following meanings except where the context of the article clearly indicates a different meaning:
Alarm system means an assembly of equipment and devices or a single device, arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police and/or fire personnel are expected to respond.
False alarm means the activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his employee or agent, but shall not include an alarm caused by a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other violent condition beyond the control of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his employee or agent.
Initiate a response or a response initiated means the dispatch of one or more persons by the township to respond to a call for a police or fire services.
Responsible party means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation including government corporation, association, local unit of government, commission, the state, a political subdivision of the state, an interstate body, the federal government, a political subdivision of the federal government or any other legal entity that owns, uses, leases, installs or directs the installation of an alarm system or owns, occupies, leases or controls premises at or in which an alarm system is installed and operative.
Sec. 7-52. False alarm fee.
Any responsible party shall pay the clerk of the township the service charge provided for in section 7-56, when an alarm is activated and a response initiated by the township police and/or fire department, if any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) The township police initiate a response to the location from which the false alarm was initially activated and there is no evidence of illegal entry or an attempt to gain entry;
(2) The township police and/or fire department initiate a response to the location from which the false alarm was initially activated and there is not evidence of fire or hazardous fumes;
(3) The township police and/or fire department initiate a response to the location from which the false alarm was initially activated due to a malfunction in the system;
(4) The township police and/or fire department initiate a response to the location from which the false alarm was initially activated, which activation was caused by a mistake;
(5) The township police and/or fire department initiate a response to the location from which the alarm was initially activated, which false alarm was activated by a person working on the alarm system, where the township police and fire department were not previously notified.
Sec. 7-53. Automatic dialing prohibited.
No person shall install or use a device or combination of devices which will, upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other means, initiate the automatic intrastate calling, dialing or connection to any telephone number assigned to the township police department, public safety department, fire department or the 911 emergency number which connects or assigns the call to the department or its dispatchers.
Sec. 7-54. Automatic shutoff required.
All alarms systems which emit a signal audible beyond the boundaries of the protected property must have an automatic shutoff feature which silences the audible portion of the alarm not more than 15 minutes after being activated. All persons shall terminate the use of existing alarm systems that lack this automatic shutoff feature within 60 days after January 1, 1999.
Sec. 7-55. Due care in operation required.
Every alarm user shall exercise due care to install, maintain and use every alarm system so as to avoid its signaling false alarms. Every alarm user shall diligently instruct, supervise and control those having access to the alarm system and the alarmed premises and shall take all reasonable steps to prevent the system from signaling false alarms.
Sec. 7-56. Fee schedule.
The service charge to be imposed by the township for its responding to a false alarm, as provided for under section 7-52, shall be determined by resolution of the township board of trustees.
Sec. 7-57. Notice; payment.
(1) When a false alarm service charge is to be assessed the director of public safety or their designee shall provide to the clerk of the township the following information:
(a) Name and address of the responsible party.
(b) Date, time and place of the false alarm.
(2) The clerk shall send notice of the service charge to the responsible party by ordinary mail. Payments, if any are required, shall be payable to the clerk of the township within 30 days of date of invoice. Funds so received shall be credited to the general fund.
Sec. 7-58. Right to appeal.
A person or entity deemed to be a responsible party under this section may appeal the determination as set forth in article V.
Secs. 7-59-7-70. Reserved.
ARTICLE IV. EMERGENCY SERVICES COST RECOVERY
Sec. 7-71. Purpose.
This article is adopted to provide for assessment and collection of a fee for certain emergency services in an amount equivalent to cost of the service provided.
Sec. 7-72. Definitions.
The following terms, phrases, words, and their definitions shall have the meaning herein, unless the context otherwise requires:
A. "Nonresident" means a person or entity that does not reside or have a principal office or place of business within the township, and that does not pay property taxes in the township. An employee, agent or contractor of a business or an owner of residential property in the township is a nonresident unless the person owns a business or property and pays taxes to the township. An owner of property that is exempt from property taxes is excluded from this definition and is considered a resident for the purpose of this article.
B. "Emergency service fee" shall mean the cost incurred by the township as a result of providing emergency police, fire, or ambulance and inhalator services to a person within the township and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Costs or expenses incurred by the township public safety department and other public officials or bodies, including: all actual out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of providing the emergency service; the costs of equipment, operations, and personnel; the cost of materials used in the incident; and other incidental costs and/or expenses incurred by the township.
2. Other costs and expenses incurred by the township in providing the emergency service including equipment, labor, consultants, legal and engineering fees, the replacement cost of extinguishing agents, and the cost of supplies used in the incident.
3. The costs incurred in accounting for the emergency services rendered including billing and collection costs, actual attorney fees incurred for collection of an emergency fee under this article, and dispatch costs.
C. "Responsible party" means any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, consortium, governmental entity, or any other legal entity that causes or is responsible for an emergency response situation as described in subsection 7-73.
D. "Emergency response or service" means a response by police, fire, ambulance, or other emergency responder requested by personnel of the township public safety department to an emergency incident or call for assistance to an emergency response situation, technical rescue, or a public safety department response to an event.
E. "Special event" means an event or occasion occurring on a non-permanent basis, such as a celebration, festival or temporary display which is different than the normal lawful use of the premises where the event is to be held.
F. “Technical Rescue” means all services rendered to save life or property that employ the use of tools and skills that exceed those normally needed for firefighting, medical emergency, and rescue. Technical rescue includes but is not limited to:
1. Rope rescue.
2. Structural collapse search and rescue.
3. Confined space search and rescue.
4. Vehicle search and rescue.
5. Wilderness search and rescue.
6. Trench and excavation search and rescue.
7. Machinery search and rescue.
8. Cave search and rescue.
9. Mine and tunnel search and rescue.
10. Helicopter search and rescue.
11. Tower rescue.
12. Animal technical rescue.
Sec. 7-73. Liability for emergency response service fee.
An emergency service fee as defined in this article shall be assessed against any responsible party or parties who cause an extraordinary emergency service to be provided to, for or on behalf of the responsible party or any other person. An extraordinary emergency service is considered to be provided under the following circumstances:
A. Medical first response, technical rescue, extrication, or other public safety department services provided for any accident or fire involving or related to any motor vehicle, trailer, aircraft, boat, snowmobile, watercraft, or other vehicle owned or operated by a responsible person who is a nonresident of the township.
B. Public safety department response to any fire, which could be set with a permit, but for which a permit was not obtained.
C. Public safety department response to an illegal fire, such as burning tires, processed lumber, or other fires contrary to law or the township's ordinances.
D. Public safety department response to an activity, event, or incident in violation of applicable laws, ordinances, or regulations, such as illegal use of fireworks, malicious destruction of property, or other illegal activity, event, or incident or to a special event for which prior township approval was not obtained.
E. Technical rescue in cases in which the responsible person is a resident of the township, except that a township resident shall only be responsible for emergency service fees which are attributable to services provided by agencies other than township agencies.
Persons responsible for an emergency service fee under this article shall be jointly and severally liable for a fee assessed under this article.
Sec. 7-74. Invoice for emergency services.
Whenever it is determined by the director of public safety or his/her designee that a person is a responsible party under this article for an emergency service fee under section 7-72, an invoice for an emergency service fee as defined in section 7-73 shall be delivered by first class mail to the responsible party or parties responsible for the emergency service fee. The invoice shall be due and payable within 30 days of the date of invoice or mailing date, whichever is later.
Sec. 7-75. Collection of emergency service fee.
The township may pursue any legal remedy or initiate any appropriate action or proceeding as provided by law to collect an emergency service fee assessed under this article. When a particular emergency service is provided to more than one person or property, each responsible person benefited and each responsible property owner benefited shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of the invoice in full for the emergency services rendered.
ARTICLE V. APPEAL, SEVERABILITY
Sec. 7-76. Right of Appeal.
Any person determined to be a responsible person under this chapter that incurs fee(s) assessed under articles II, Ill, or IV may appeal that determination, and the service fee(s) assessed, by filing a written statement of appeal. The written statement shall set forth the reasons for the appeal; why such person is not responsible for the cost of emergency response or service and why the fee should not be assessed. The appeal for partial or full waiver of fees shall be filed with the Director of Public Safety within 21 days of the invoice date. The appeal will suspend fee(s) billed and other enforcement of the fee(s) until a determination is made. The Director shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the facts warrant the fees and charges assessed pursuant to this chapter. The Director may adjust the fees and charges for good cause and shall report all appeals and the outcomes to the Board of Trustees. A person determined by the Director to be responsible for the cost of an emergency response or service in excess of $5000.00 may file a written statement of appeal with the clerk requesting review of the Director's decision by the township board of trustees. The board of trustees will hear the appeal within 90 days of receiving the request for appeal and, by a majority vote of those voting, shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the facts warrant the fees and charges assessed pursuant to this chapter. Payment of all fees and charges found to be due after the appeals process are to be paid within 60 days of the date of the appeal being finalized.
Sec. 7-77. Repealer
All ordinances or parts thereof which are in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance are, to the extent of such conflict, hereby repealed, except that terms defined herein for the purpose of interpretation, administration and enforcement of this Ordinance shall not act to modify, repeal or otherwise change the definition of any such term as used in other ordinances or laws.
Sec. 7-78. Savings Clause
The provisions of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or subsection is declared void or inoperable for any reason by any court, it shall not affect any other part or portion hereof other than the part declared void or inoperable.
Sec. 7-79 Adoption and Effective Date
This Ordinance shall be published in the manner as required by law. Except as otherwise provide by law, this Ordinance shall be effective on the day after final publication.
This Ordinance was duly adopted by the Charter Township of Pittsfield Board at its regular meeting held on the 27th of April, 2016, and was ordered given publication in the manner required by law.