Fines increased for false alarms in Donegal Township
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Property owners in Donegal Township can expect an increase in fines if local firefighters respond to false alarms.
The township's board of supervisors recently approved a new ordinance, one that replaces an prior ordinance, to more effectively classify the fees to be doled out for false alarms responded to by the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.
The false alarms are mainly due to security systems, which either malfunction or need to be updated, board members said.
“Our old ordinance was for 10 (false alarm responses) before you got charged,” Supervisor Tom Stull said. “Now it's after four. After four they will be charged in increasing steps.”
Details on how much would be charged for each cited infraction were not disclosed.
Stull said the need for the new ordinance arose as a result of repeated calls from the same locations that were all false alarms due to malfunctioning alarm systems.
“There was one house that (the department) went to four times in one month,” Stull said.
There have even been locations that the department was dispatched to twice in the same day, he added.
“They mainly occur when no one is at home or at the business. Sometimes when someone is there they call in quick enough, but there are a lot of calls that are false.”
Stull said that, for every house alarm call, at least three companies respond.
“You probably have close to $1 million worth of equipment showing up at each call,” Stull said.
In other business, the board passed a motion for the township to take part in the annual Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off on Oct. 5 at Westmoreland County Community College near Youngwood.
For a $40 fee, township residents can take part in the event which gives people the chance to drop off paint cans and other items deemed inappropriate for regular trash collection.
“We didn't take part in it last year because it was in New Kensington, and we didn't feel that any of our residents would drive that far,” Stull said.
Supervisors have also applied for a state Community Development Block Grant for work planned on Ridge Road. The board is still waiting for the results of an endangered species study before they can proceed with draining and paving of the passage, members said.
Supervisors are also preparing for the oiling and chipping of roads by mid-summer.
Those plans include Lower Tabernacle, School House and Krieger roads, Stull said.
The supervisors also passed a motion to hire Colton Lenhart as a part-time labor operator at the rate of $12 per hour with no benefits.
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.