(a)    Vacant commercial building registration fees shall be reasonably related to the administrative costs of the vacant commercial building registration process and for the costs incurred by the City in monitoring the vacant commercial building site. The annual increase in registration fee amounts shall be reasonably related to the costs incurred by the City for hazard abatement, repair and/or demolition of vacant commercial buildings in addition to the continued administrative costs. Money collected under this section shall be used exclusively for the administration and enforcement of this Chapter.
   (b)    The Safety/Service Director shall have the authority to adjust fees annually to coincide with the cost of the enforcement of this section.
   (c)    The annual registration fee for a vacant commercial building shall be based on the duration of time the building has been vacant regardless of a change in ownership. The owner of a vacant commercial building shall pay an annual registration fee of four hundred dollars ($400.00) for the first & second year the building remains vacant. For every consecutive year that the building remains vacant, the annual registration fee shall be assessed at double the previous year's registration fee amount for a maximum annual registration fee equaling the six (6) year registration of six thousand four hundred dollars ($6,400.00), which shall be the registration for the sixth and all consecutive, subsequent years of vacancy.
   (d)    The registration fee shall be paid in full prior to the issuance of any building permits.  The Fire Chief shall refund the vacant commercial building registration fee if the subject building is brought into compliance with standards of the Ohio Building Code, and reoccupied within one (1) year of payment of the annual registration fee. The refund shall be for the amount of the registration fee paid during the year in which the building was approved for re-occupancy. Registration fees paid in previous years shall not be refunded.
   (e)    If a registration form is filed late, an additional late fee shall be paid in addition to the annual registration fee and shall be equal to the annual registration fee or one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), whichever is less.
   (f)    All delinquent registration fees shall be paid by the owner prior to any transfer of an ownership interest in the vacant commercial building.
   (g)    The Fire Chief shall notify the Lorain City Council if an owner or person in control, or a purchaser of a vacant commercial building fails to, neglects or refuses to pay a registration fee within the time ordered pursuant to this section. In addition to the registration fee, an interest rate equal to 6% or the current rate of interest charged by the City on special assessments shall be imposed by the City for the life of the registration fee, added to the registration fee, and collected as provided in this section. The Fire Chief along with the City Auditor shall then certify the amount of the registration fee, including interest, to Lorain City Council. City Council shall then take the actions necessary to perfect the charges and costs as a tax lien pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 731.54. The County Auditor shall enter the amount on the tax duplicate of the County as a special assessment against the real estate that is subject to the registration fee.  (Ord. 69-16.  Passed 7-5-16.)