Chapter 3.20


3.20.010    Title.

3.20.020    Purpose and intent.

3.20.030    Definitions.

3.20.040    Imposition of public safety surcharge.

3.20.050    Dedication of funds.

3.20.060    Collection.

3.20.070    Program administration.

3.20.080    Appeal process.

3.20.090    Enforcement.

Prior legislation: Ord. 529.

3.20.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the public safety act. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.020 Purpose and intent.

(1) The principal purpose of this chapter is to safeguard, facilitate and encourage the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and businesses of the city of Pilot Rock. The council also finds that a continuous and consistent public safety program provides a multitude of economic and social benefits to the public, including, but not limited to:

(a) Improved response to disaster situations.

(b) Increased police protection.

(c) Prevention of crime.

(d) Enhanced protection of property.

(e) Promotion of community spirit and growth.

(2) It is the intent of this chapter to provide a funding mechanism to help pay for the benefits conferred on city residents and businesses by the provision of an adequate program of public safety; and further to help bring the police department up to acceptable service levels.

(3) The structure of this chapter is intended to be a surcharge for service within the city limits. However, it is not intended to provide full funding for the police department. In the event that public safety surcharge revenues collected are insufficient to properly operate the police department, additional funding may be allocated by the city council from other nondedicated city funds; provided, however, the city council may direct the reimbursement to such other nondedicated city funds if additional public safety surcharge revenues are collected. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.030 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, as used within this chapter, have the following definitions and meanings:

“Developed property” means a parcel or portion of real property on which an improvement exists. Improvement on developed property includes, but is not limited to, buildings, parking lots, and outside storage.

“Nonresidential unit” means a use of property which is primarily not for personal, domestic accommodation, such as a business or commercial enterprise. A nonresidential structure which provides facilities for one or more businesses, including, but not limited to, permanent provisions for access to the public, shall have each distinct business facility considered as a separate nonresidential unit.

“Residential unit” means a residential structure which provides complete living facilities for one or more persons including, but not limited to, permanent provisions for living, sleeping, and sanitation. A home business in a residential zone will be regarded only as a residential unit, not as a nonresidential unit. An ancillary unit on a single-family parcel shall be considered as a separate residential unit. Multifamily residential property consisting of two or more dwelling units, condominium units or individual mobile home units shall have each unit considered as a separate residential unit. Transient lodging shall not be considered as a residential unit. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.040 Imposition of public safety surcharge.

(1) There is hereby created a public safety surcharge to accomplish the above-stated purposes.

(2) The public safety surcharge is hereby established and shall be assessed to each residential unit and to each nonresidential unit on the basis of $3.50 per unit per month effective July 1, 2016. Billing shall be as a line item on the city’s utility bill unless otherwise specified below.

(3) Except as the fees may be reduced or eliminated under PRMC 3.20.080(3), the obligation to pay a public safety surcharge arises when a person responsible uses or otherwise benefits from public safety services. It is presumed that public safety services are used, and that a benefit arises, whenever the subject real property is a developed property.

(4) All developed/undeveloped properties within the city limits shall be charged the public safety surcharge.

(5) It is the city council’s intention to leave the surcharge unchanged and allow growth in development to provide for growth in service costs. Annually, as part of the budget review process, a determination shall be made as to whether a reduction in the surcharge would be appropriate or not.

(6) The public safety billing rate shall not be increased through resolution, budgetary action, or administrative policy. [Ord. 573, 2016; Ord. 548, 2011; Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.050 Dedication of funds.

All public safety surcharge revenues derived shall be distinctly and clearly noted in both the revenue and expenditure sections of the city budget and shall be used only for the improvement, maintenance, administration and operation of the police department and for no other purpose in order to help provide for a safe, well-functioning public safety program. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.060 Collection.

(1) Public safety surcharges shall be collected monthly. Statements for the surcharge shall be included as an additional item on the city monthly utility billing wherever feasible, unless otherwise specified below.

(2) Unless another person responsible has agreed in writing to pay, and a copy of that writing is filed with the city, the person(s) normally responsible for paying the city’s water and sewer utility charges is responsible for paying the public safety surcharge, if the property is located within the city limits. However, the owner of record of the property shall at all times be primarily responsible for payment. For instance, the property owner shall be responsible for payment if a tenant on the property does not pay the surcharge.

(3) In the event a developed property is not served by a domestic water meter or sewer hook-up, or if water and sewer service is discontinued, the property owner of record is the responsible party.

(4) A request for water or sewer service, a building permit, or the occupancy of an unserviced building will automatically initiate appropriate billing for public safety services.

(5) The imposition of surcharges shall be calculated on the basis of the number of water meters serving that property.

(6) Late charges in the amount of $5.00 per month shall be attached to any public safety surcharges not received within 30 days of billing.

(7) Notwithstanding the above, if the public safety surcharge is not paid for a period of three months, the surcharge, with any additional late fees, shall be imposed on the owner of the property and the unpaid charges may be imposed as a lien on the owner’s property after the owner of record has been notified of the outstanding charges by certified mail and given 45 days to pay those outstanding charges, as well as provide for adequate assurance of future payments. The lien shall be entered in the docket of city liens and shall be first and prior to all other liens or encumbrances thereon whatsoever insofar as the law will allow. The city may proceed to enforce or foreclose any lien to which it shall be entitled pursuant to the law. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.070 Program administration.

(1) Except as provided below, the city council shall be responsible for the administration of the public safety program.

(2) The city recorder shall be responsible for the collection of fees under this chapter.

(3) The city council shall be responsible for delegating three members to administer the appeal process under PRMC 3.20.080.

(4) The city council is authorized and directed to review the operation of this chapter and, where appropriate, recommend changes thereto in the form of administrative procedures for adoption by the city council by resolution. Such procedures if adopted by the council shall be given full force and effect, and unless clearly inconsistent with this chapter shall apply uniformly throughout the city. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.080 Appeal process.

(1) A public safety surcharge may be appealed for change or relief in accordance with the following criteria:

(a) Any property owner/manager who disputes any interpretation given by the city as to property classification may appeal such interpretation. If the appeal is successful, relief will be granted by reassignment to a more appropriate billing category. In such instances, reimbursement will be given for any overpayment, retroactive to the filing date of the appeal. Factors to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to: availability of more accurate information; equity relative to billing classifications assigned to other developments of a similar nature; changed circumstances; and situations uniquely affecting the party filing the appeal.

(b) Any property owner may claim a financial hardship and apply for reduced amount as outlined in the utility ordinance. These guidelines will be approved by the city council.

(2) Application for appeal shall state the reason(s) for appeal, with supporting documentation to justify the requested change or relief.

(3) The public safety committee delegates shall be responsible for evaluating appeals. If the public safety committee delegates decide information provided through the appeal process justifies a change, the public safety committee delegates may authorize this change (up or down) retroactive to the date the appeal was filed.

(4) The public safety committee delegates shall make all reasonable attempts to resolve appeals utilizing available existing information, including supporting documentation filed with the appeal, within 30 days of the date the appeal was filed. If, however, more detailed site-specific information is necessary, the public safety committee delegates may request the applicant provide information.

(5) In any event, the public safety committee delegates shall file a report within 90 days of the date the appeal was filed explaining the disposition of the appeal, along with the rationale and supporting documentation for the decision reached.

(6) Decisions of the public safety committee delegates may be further appealed to the city council, and shall be heard at a public meeting. Upon such further appeal, the city council shall at its first regular meeting thereafter set a hearing date. The matter shall be heard solely upon the record. In no event shall a final decision be made later than 90 days after the matter was formally appealed to the city council.

(7) Appeals filed within 120 days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall not be subject to paying a filing fee. After this 120-day period, the initial filing fee for an appeal shall be $50.00. An additional $50.00 fee is required for further appeal to the city council. These fees are fully refundable should the appellant adequately justify and secure the requested change or relief.

(8) An annual review of recognized hardship cases will be conducted to determine validity for continuance. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].

3.20.090 Enforcement.

(1) In the event funds received from city utility billings are inadequate to satisfy in full all of the water, sewer, and public safety charges, credit shall be given first to the public safety surcharge, second to the sewer and utility reserve charges, third to the charges for water service.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the city may institute any necessary legal proceedings to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, injunctive relief and collection of charges owing. The city’s enforcement rights shall be cumulative.

(3) This chapter is set with reviews occurring annually during budget procedures. [Ord. 541 Exh. A, 2010].