(A)   Purpose and intent. This section is adopted for the purpose of authorizing the city to charge for services as authorized by M.S. §§ 366.011, 366.012 and 415.01, as they may be amended from time to time.
   (B)   Collection of unpaid service charges and fees. If the city is authorized to impose a service charge or fee on the owner, lessee, or occupant of property, or any of them, for a governmental service provided by the city, the city may certify to the County Auditor, on or before October 15 for each year, any unpaid services charges or fees which shall then be collected together with property taxes levied against the property.  A charge or fee may be certified to the Auditor only if, on or before September 15, the city has given written notice to the property owner of its intention to certify the charge or fee to the Auditor.  The service charges or fees shall be subject to the same penalties, interest, and other conditions provided for the collection of property taxes.  This section is in addition to any other law authorizing the collection of unpaid costs and services charges or fees.
   (C)   Charges for emergency services; collection.
      (1)   The city or any other entity of the city may impose a reasonable service charge for emergency services, including police, fire, rescue, medical, and related services provided by the city or contracted for by the city.  If the service charge remains unpaid 30 days after a notice of delinquency is sent to the recipient of the service or the recipient's representative or estate, the city or its contractor on behalf of the city may use any lawful means allowed to a private party for the collection of an unsecured delinquent debt.  The city will collect unpaid service charges of this kind from delinquent recipients of services, and may certify such delinquent charges to the County Auditor for collection in the county in which the recipient of such services owns real property anywhere in the State of Minnesota pursuant to M.S. §§ 366.011 and 366.012.
      (2)   The powers conferred by this section are in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law for a city to impose a service charge or assessment for a service provided by the city or contracted for by the city.
      (3)   Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
         CONTRACT AREA. Those areas encompassing townships, municipalities, or other entities for which the city has contracted to provide emergency services and includes in-service areas as defined by the Fire District and the city.
         EMERGENCY PROTECTION CHARGE. A charge imposed by the city for providing emergency service.
         EMERGENCY SERVICES. Any deployment of any personnel, whether it be fire, rescue, medical, paramedic or related service to extinguish any fire, perform any preventative measure, assist medical response or any other related service in an effort to protect property, equipment or life.
         EVENT. Each occurrence in which emergency service is requested from any entity from the time of the request until emergency personnel determine the services provided for the request are no longer necessary.
         PROPERTY OWNER. An individual receiving emergency services who owns real estate within the contract area or an individual that rents or leases property within the contract area.
      (4)   Rates. The emergency protection charge rate schedule for emergency services shall be adopted and amended from time to time in the City of Le Sueur Governmental Fee Schedule.
      (5)   Collection.
         (a)   Parties requesting and receiving emergency services may be billed an emergency protection charge directly by the city. Additionally, if the party receiving emergency services did not request services for a fire or other situation in which emergency services are required, they may still be billed for the services. All parties will be billed whether or not the emergency service is covered by insurance and any billable amount of the emergency protection charge not covered by party's insurance remains a debt of the party receiving the emergency service.
         (b)   Parties billed an emergency protection charge for emergency service will have 30 days to pay. If the emergency protection charge is not paid by that time, it will be considered delinquent and the city will send a notice of delinquency.
         (c)   If the emergency protection charge remains unpaid for 30 days after this notice of delinquency is sent, the city will use all practical and reasonable legal means to collect the emergency protection charge. The party receiving emergency services shall be liable for all collection costs incurred by the city including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.
         (d)   If the emergency protection charge remains unpaid for 30 days after the notice of delinquency is sent, the City Council may also, on or before October 15 of each year, certify the unpaid emergency service charge to the County Auditor in which the recipient of the services owns real property for collection with the property taxes. The County Auditor then remains responsible for remitting to the city all charges collected on behalf of the city and the city must give the property owner notice of its intent to certify the unpaid fee service charge by September 15.
      (6)   Mutual aid agreement. When the Emergency Services Department provides service to another department pursuant to a mutual aid agreement, the billing for the service will be determined by the mutual aid agreement.
      (7)   Application of collections to budget. All collected emergency protection charges will be city funds and used to offset the expense of the city's department providing the emergency service.
(Ord. 516, passed 10-26-2009; Ord. 529, passed 6-27-2011; Ord. 541, passed 4-28-2014; Ord. 544, passed 12-22-2014; Ord. 545, passed 1-12-2015; Ord. 587, passed 8-10-2020)