In a work session Monday evening the Whitefish City Council is taking up an ordinance that would impose a fee on false alarms that create extra work for emergency responders.
The fee schedule proposed by Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial would have no charge for the first false alarm response, $300 for a second call, and $500 for each subsequent false alarm within one year.
The ordinance, which Dial says is similar to those found in other communities, covers automated fire and burglar alarm systems that are often triggered accidentally. Dial says the problem has been growing.
"In 2013 the police department had 283 false alarms, fire department 124. When people or businesses are not responsible for their alarm systems, it wastes taxpayer dollars, it wastes our resources," said Dial.
The council won’t be taking any official action on the proposal yet, but they will consider pursuing it further.