By DEBORAH GERTZ HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- The Pittsfield City Council is putting a price tag on multiple false fire alarms.
Aldermen Tuesday gave first reading approval to an ordinance setting out penalties for multiple false alarms within a 30-day period.
Under the ordinance, the third false alarm in 30 days will result in a $200 service charge. Subsequent nuisance alarms in the same 30-day period will result in another $200 charge plus an additional $50 charge.
The ordinance also requires alarm owners to contact the Fire Department or monitoring company before conducting any system tests or demonstrations and upon completing the exercise. The first offense carries a written warning; a second offense carries a $200 penalty, and a third will cost $250.
The city pursued the ordinance as a way to counter the growing number of nuisance, or false, alarms handled by the fire department.
Final approval of the ordinance is expected at the council's March 19 meeting.
Aldermen also agreed to sell a lot at the industrial plaza to Jim Carnes.
Carnes bought the 5.4 acre Lot 3A at a cost of $4,000 per acre.
City Clerk Cindy Prentice said his plans call for a building on the site to house over-the-road trucks, his repair and maintenance business and an office area.
Work is expected to begin within the next 30 days on the building project.
Also Wednesday, aldermen agreed to apply for a state Community Development Assistance Program grant to repair or replace the city's water tower uptown.
In other action, the Pittsfield City Council:
º Gave final approval to an ordinance clarifying it's the responsibility of the owner, not the city, to make repairs on sewer service lines that cross the property of other owners. The ordinance followed issues raised in January by city resident Everet Poyner. Poyner's private sewer line broke, and he questioned whether he or the city was responsible for the repair costs past his property line.
º Accepted the resignation of City Hall employee Jenny Presley. The city will be advertising the job.
º Heard Mayor John Hayden proclaim March as American Red Cross Month. Pam Shaffer, executive director of the American Red Cross serving Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough and Pike counties, thanked the city for its support in times of need, and Hayden thanked Shaffer and the Red Cross for their service to the area.
º Praised city crews for recent snow removal work.