False alarms cost money

Thursday, January 19, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Lewisburg councilmen are set on a course to crack down on false alarms and cut fire department costs by sending bills to repeat offenders.

City Manager David Orr last week reviewed highlights of ordinances used elsewhere. Subsequent discussion during the council's monthly meeting indicated a willingness to excuse some false alarms, but charge for city costs incurred because of recurring false alarms.

A draft of an ordinance is to be reviewed during a non-voting workshop for the council at 4 p.m. Jan. 31 in City Hall.

Councilman Ronald McRady objected to the afternoon time, preferring 6 p.m., the normal time for regular council meetings. Mayor Barbara Woods countered by saying the Cemetery Board meeting might have to be held earlier since it's also meeting at 4 that afternoon. McRady has consistently advocated open government and meeting times that are convenient to the general public.

False alarms were a subject raised by Fire Chief Larry Williams when the council had a daylong workshop at Henry Horton State Park to prepare for the next fiscal year. False alarms have taken resources and therefore money from the department's budget.

The council's decision on Jan. 10 was responsive to his request, Williams said.