Landis studies fines for false alarms
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó False alarms are becoming a big enough headache for town officials to fight back.
At their monthly meeting Monday night, aldermen discussed implementing an ordinance regulating false alarms.
The proposed ordinance is a mix of the ordinances adopted by Salisbury and China Grove. The proposed ordinance speaks to the cost and the time it takes to respond to an alarm system by the fire or police departments when there is no emergency.
The ordinance covers accidental, avoidable and unnecessary alarm activation due to user error, equipment malfunction or improper or unsuited equipment, but does not apply to alarms caused by an act of nature or extraordinary circumstances or testing, if notice is given.
If the police and fire departments respond to more than four false alarms at one site in a 12-month period, the alarm user shall be assessed follwing a schedule:
– Fifth and sixth false alars, $50 police, $100 fire;
– Seventh and eighth alarms, $100 police, $200 fire;
– Ninth and tenth alarms, $200 police, $300 fire.
– Ten or more are subject to an inspection by the N.C. Alarm Systems and Licensing Board. If the user fails to have the alarm inspected, he must pay a $100 fee if the problem is not corrected within 30 days. The alternative is to disconnect the system.
The alarm user will have the opportunity to appeal the fine assessment.
Alarm users have 60 days from the day the ordinance is approved to register with the Landis Police Department. A permit will be issued for a $5 fee for all existing alarm systems and $25 for new permits.
Aldermen James Furr and Tony Hilton said they felt the ordinance should apply only to people who use alarm monitoring systems which automatically alert emergency personnel, not those that simply sound a horn or other noise.
A public hearing is scheduled for May 5.
Just before aldermen began their meeting Monday evening, Roger Safrit took an oath as the town’s new alderman.
Retired Superior Court Judge Larry Ford administered the oath to Safrit, as members of Safrit’s family watched.
He replaces Dean Beck, who stepped down in March.
Safrit later thanked the board for the opportunity and their confidence in him.
Also Monday, aldermen:
– Received a priority list about needed sidewalk repairs.
Public Works Director Steve Rowland said there are about 3,490 feet of sidewalk in the worst areas. The estimated repairs would cost $90,740, and aldermen agreed to use Powell Bill funds that come from the state and must be used for roadway repairs, including sidewalks. The worst areas include the 100 and 200 blocks of West Rice, 300 block of South Zion, 700 block of South Chapel, 100 block of South Main, 300 block of East Ryder and both sides of West Ryder.
Furr made a motion to have the Public Works Department create a schedule to replace all town sidewalks over the next five to 10 years. To replace all existing sidewalks in Landis would cost about $933,816.
– Discussed a new Web site. The town launched its presence on the Internet in February 2007. The site was something the town had talked about and planned for nearly a year. But aldermen say they need to start over.
Hilton said the current site is poorly designed, and the new site should allow each department head to enter updates and make other changes.
“I’d like to see something done quick. I think this is an important issue that we need to take care of,” Mayor Dennis Brown said.
He said he’s willing to hire a professional to create the site.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.