After looking for new ways to add revenue to the General Fund, the city council approved a $20 fee for residential and business burglar alarms that will begin in January 2015.
Glendale Police Chief Deborah Black presented the proposal to the council at the Aug. 12 meeting, saying the fees were needed to pay for administration costs of the program.
Mayor Jerry Weiers wondered why the fees were double what the cost of the program currently is.
“What is the actual cost of the alarm program?” Weiers said. “I believe the cost is actually about half the $20 charge, is that true?”
“The current cost of the program, for about 8,200 permits, is about $82,000,” said Chief Black. “But when we did out research with other areas for this costs, most had just raised their rates, and we didn’t want to come back with an increase quickly.”
The original city code adopted in June 2010 required alarm subscribers and proprietor alarm owners to obtain a permit, free of charge. The code also allowed for fees to be assessed for two or more false alarms in a 365-day period.
“So far in 2014, we have had approximately 8,239 alarm subscriber permits issued at no charge,” Black said. “The fee would allow us to hire one full-time employee for administration costs.”
Black said false alarm calls were down 7 percent last year and are on pace to be down another 14 percent this year.
Expected cost for a full-time administrator to run the program is estimated at $82,860, but if you go off current numbers of 8,239 alarm permits at $20 each, that comes to $164,780 for the first five months of 2014.
“I don’t have a problem for charging a fee for what it costs, but I do have a problem with making money on the program at the costs to the citizens,” Weiers said.
Councilmember Ian Hugh asked if alarms that were self installed and not monitored by a company would be subject to the fee and Chief Black said no.
“I understand the charge is only ($20) and it is not much, but I just cannot support this charge,” Weiers said.