(A)   Definitions. For the purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or required a different meaning.
      COSTS. Those necessary expenditures of monies, time, and materials required to alleviate, control or contain an emergency, including any costs required to collect those costs expended.
      DEPARTMENT. Within the meaning of this section is one or more of the following:
         (a)   Fire;
         (b)   Police;
         (c)   Street;
         (d)   Water;
         (e)   Town Engineer;
         (f)   Town Attorney;
         (g)   Code Enforcement;
         (h)   Civil Defense.
      EMERGENCY. That situation which arises unexpectedly and requires quick response by a department of the town. The term EMERGENCY does not include responses to a residential, commercial or industrial structure fire unless such a fire is determined to be arson by the State Fire Marshal.
   (B)   Cost accounting, allocations, and assignment.
      (1)   Whenever the town or a department responds by request or mandate to an emergency, the department head or his/her designee shall maintain a log of the costs incurred.
      (2)   When a final tabulation of the costs is completed, the department head or his/her designee shall present the same to the Town Council ("Council").
         (a)   The Council shall set a hearing at which testimony may be taken from which a determination as to the amount of costs to be allocated to each department and the amount charged or assessed to the individual or business receiving the department emergency services shall be made.
         (b)   Said determination of the Council shall be final.
      (3)   The Council shall require any payment of those costs charged or assessed within 90 days from the date of determination.
      (4)   The Council shall be authorized to empower the Town Attorney to institute legal proceedings upon non-payment within 90 days. The costs to the town for legal proceedings shall also be assessed to the non-paying party.
      (5)   The Council shall have the authority to suspend the assessment of costs upon finding of a routine emergency situation or when there is a determination of undue hardship on the party receiving the emergency services.
   (C)   Hearings.
      (1)   All hearings on the accounting, allocation, and charging or assessment of costs shall be set to coincide with regularly scheduled Council meetings except as follows:
         (a)   When a hearing is expected to last greater than 30 minutes; or
         (b)   When undue hardship would be placed on any witnesses; or
         (c)   Whenever urgent circumstances exist to require a special meeting of the Council to conduct the hearing.
      (2)   All parties to the hearing shall be given a notice not less than ten days before the scheduled hearing by the Clerk-Treasurer.
      (3)   All parties shall have the opportunity to present witnesses and cross examine.
      (4)   The decision of the Council shall be final.
   (D)   Payment of charged or assessed costs.
      (1)   Payment of charged or assessed costs shall be made to the Clerk-Treasurer by cash, money order, or certified check.
      (2)   The Clerk-Treasurer is authorized to establish a payment schedule so as to avoid undue hardship on the liable party, but in no event shall the length of payments exceed one year from the date of the Council's determination.
   (E)   Monies collected. All monies collected from a liable party shall be credited to the department(s) who incurred the costs for the emergency services.
   (F)   Nothing herein shall create an obligation upon the town to render emergency services beyond that which heretofore exists by law.
(Ord. 2014-1, passed 4-7-14)