Fire Chief Daryl DuPage
Assistant Fire Chief RJ
Foster Township /Clear Lake Fire Department Run Charges (Cost Recovery) Ordinance
An ordinance to establish cost-recovery charges and exemptions for fire department and other emergency services under Public Act 33 of 1951, as amended (MCL 41.801, et seq.), and to provide methods for collecting those charges.
THE TOWNSHIP OF FOSTER, OGEMAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN, ORDAINS:
Section 1: Purpose
This ordinance is adopted to enable the Township to bill for and collect cost recovery charges from those receiving direct benefits from the fire protection and other emergency services provided by the Township. It is the further purpose of the ordinance to provide for full funding of the Township’s fire protection and other emergency services which remain, in part, an at-large governmental expense based upon the general benefits derived by all property owners within the Township.
Section 2: Cost-Recovery Charges
The following charges are due and payable to the Township from a recipient of any of the following listed fire protection and other emergency services from the Township:
A. Motor vehicle accident $250.00
B. Motor Vehicle accident using Hazmat kit $250.00
C. Motor Vehicle Accident using extrication $500.00
D. Commercial Vehicle related incident $1,500.00
E. Motor/ Recreational Vehicle Fire $570.00
F. Request for service $250.00
G. Vehicle Fire $500.00
H. Structure Fire / Grass Fire $500.00
l. Emergency Water / lce Rescue, per person $570.00
J. Aircraft Fire/Crash/ Rescue/ Hazmat $1,200.00
K. Water Craft Rescue $570.00
L. Stand by Fee for CONSUMER ENERGY (Per hour)
Apparatus / Materials: $570.00
A. Fire engine (Per Hour) $535.00
B. MFR Truck (Per Hour) $270.00
C. Grass/Utility Vehicle (Per Hour) $135.00
D. Water Tender (Per Hour) $350.00
E. Boat (Per Hour) $140.00
F. Absorbent Booms (each) $125.00
G. Absorbent Pads (each) $5.00
H. Foam (Per Gallon) $40.00
I. Man Power (Each) $20.00
J. Jump Start (each) $60.00
K. Boat Towing (Per Hour) $175.00
L. Dewatering (Per Hour) $150.00
M. Transport to Port (Per Person) $20.00
Section 3: Time for Payment for Run
All of the foregoing charges are due and payable within 30 days from the date the service is rendered and, in default of payment, are collectible through proceedings in district court or in any court of competent jurisdiction as a matured debt.
Section 4: Exemptions
The following properties and services are exempt from the foregoing charges:
A. False alarms
B. Fires caused by railroad trains, which are the specific statutory responsibility of railroad companies
C. Fire involving Township buildings, grounds and/or property
D. Fire or other emergency service performed outside the jurisdiction of the Township, unless the township and the other municipalities have each adopted an ordinance to impose fees for fire and emergency service runs within their respective territories under MCL 41.806a.
Section 5: Collection of Charges
The Township may proceed in district court by suit to collect any monies remaining unpaid from a responsible party and shall have any and all other remedies provided by and subject to law for the collection of said charges.
Section 6: Non-Exclusive Charge
The foregoing rates and charges are not the only charges that may be made by the Township for the costs and expenses of providing fire protection and other emergency services. Charges may additionally be collected by the Township through general taxation after a vote of the electorate approving the same or by a special assessment established under the applicable Michigan statutes. General fund appropriations may also be made to cover such additional costs and expenses of providing fire protection and other emergency services.
Section 7: Multiple Property Protection
When a particular fire protection or other emergency service rendered by the Township directly benefits more than one person or property, the owner of each property so benefited, and each person so benefited where property protection is not involved, is liable for the payment of the full charge for such service. The interpretation and application of this section is delegated to the Township Fire Chief, subject only to appeal, within the time limits for payment, to the Township Board and shall be administered so that charges shall only be collected from the recipients of the service.
Section 8: Severability
If any provision or part of this ordinance is declared invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the validity or enforceability of the balance of the ordinance is not affected and remains in full force and effect.
Section 9: Effective Date
This ordinance has immediate effect. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are repealed.
The purpose of this sample ordinance is to provide a suggested guideline for the types of items that should be included within an ordinance. Certainly, no sample ordinance should be used unless, after careful review, it is the professional judgment of your legal counsel that using the sample will accomplish the particular objectives and intentions of your township. Although these sample ordinances are the result of much thought and effort, neither the authors nor the Michigan Townships Association assumes any responsibility for the results of using these samples word-for-word in individual cases.
NOTES: Jurisdiction: Attorney General Opinion 7180 of 2005states that, “A municipal ordinance imposing fees for fire service runs adopted pursuant to MCL 41.806a may only be applied within the territory of that municipality. In order for participating townships acting jointly with a village to impose fees for fire service runs within their respective territories, each must adopt its own authorizing ordinance under MCL 41.806a.
OAG No. 7180 also states, “Section 6a of the Act explicitly authorizes the “legislative bodies of municipalities acting jointly” to provide emergency fire service to adopt ordinances for the collection of fees for these services. MCL 41.806a. (Emphasis added.) No provision of the Act authorizes one municipal legislative body to adopt a single fire service fee ordinance that would be effective outside its own territory and into the territories of other participating municipalities through an agreement creating a joint fire board under section 11 of the Act.”
Hazardous materials responses: In Howell Township v.Rooto Corporation (258 Mich. App. 470, 2003), where the township sought to recover its costs incurred in responding to a fire and hazardous materials release at the Rooto plant, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that the township ordinance was in direct conflict with Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), MCL 324.20101, et seq.
Part 201 relieves a property owner from liability if the release was caused solely by an act or omission of a third party. Part 201 also provides a property owner with an opportunity to seek contribution from another potentially liable party, and the court can consider the relative degree of responsibility of each of the parties.
The Rooto decision has not yet been clarified by subsequent litigation or legislation, and hazardous materials ordinances that do not, at a minimum, contain provisions similar to Part 201 are likely invalid. As a result, this sample ordinance does not address hazardous material incident fees.
The third-party defense provided in the NREPA will, in some instances, significantly complicate or even thwart the process of recovering hazardous materials incident-related costs. MTA Legal Counsel suggest that townships seeking cost recovery for a hazardous materials incident consult with their township attorney to determine whether it may be prudent to pursue reimbursement under the NREPA, rather than invoking a local hazardous materials cost recovery ordinance.