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City Council to Consider False Fire Alarm Fees

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 174

The Galesburg City Council Monday will likely change the way the city responds to false fire alarms, after some initial changes years ago.

Aldermen will vote on whether or not to charge $50s for the false fire alarm firefighters are called to at any one location, and $150 for every false alarm after that.

Currently the fees sit at $50 and $100, and there are several free calls before the fees kick in.  Under the new structure, the fees are implemented with the first call.

Galesburg Fire Chief Tom Simkins told aldermen two weeks ago his crews respond to many false alarms.

“Knox College tends to have a large share, and maybe the hospitals — some of the nursing homes — have in excess of five [false alarm calls],” Simkins said.  ”Those are the bigger ones.”

City officials say one building had as many as 17 false alarms in 2011, but that was kind of an anomaly.

The city used to respond to false alarm calls directly, but that service was discontinued several years ago as more alarm companies used third parties. A fire alarm registration program the city had in place as a result is being recommended to be discontinued.

Aldermen Monday will also consider consultant service agreements for grants being given to four local businesses in support of expansion projects they’re undertaking.

The city council meets at 6:30pm Monday  in City Hall.