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A. Fire and Rescue Service Charges Imposed.

1. Any person receiving direct fire and rescue services from AF&R as a result of a motor vehicle collision, a hazardous materials incident, a victim rescue or an occurrence on a railroad right-of-way or transportation route that requires AF&R service, shall be liable to the City for the direct and indirect costs incurred by the City in responding to the incident.

2. Whenever a fire is extinguished or attempted to be extinguished by AF&R outside the City of Ashland, the owner of the property involved in such fire shall be liable to the City for the direct and indirect costs of fire and rescue services incurred by the City in responding to the incident.

3. When more than one person receives direct fire and rescue services from AF&R in a single incident, the general costs incurred may be apportioned pro rata among the recipients of the services not otherwise exempt from payment or among the parties involved in the incident, or through any other apportionment which reasonably allocates the costs of the benefits received.

B. Exemptions from Charges.

1. Except as provided in this section, a person liable for a charge imposed under Section 15.28.170 shall be excused from paying the charge if the person presents satisfactory proof to the City that, at the time of the incident giving rise to the charge, the person was a resident of the City, owned real property within the City, or was the holder of a valid license from the City issued under Chapter 6.04.

2. The exemptions of this section do not apply to:

a. Drivers of vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

b. Persons who commit acts of gross negligence or are otherwise in violation of local law or state statute;

c. Persons causing incidents that require hazardous materials clean-up; or

d. Fire extinguishment efforts by AF&R on property outside the City of Ashland.

C. Interest on Charge. Any charge imposed under this section shall be due to the City upon demand or billing by the City. Any person who fails to pay such charge within ninety (90) days of receipt of a bill from the City shall also pay interest on the charge from the date of the billing at the rate of 12 percent (12%) per year; interest for a fraction of a year shall be prorated.

D. Use of Payments Received. Fire and rescue service charges collected by the City shall be deposited in accounts designated for such payments. Funds in such accounts shall be expended only for operational costs of the fire department, police department, or the public works department, to reimburse the City for costs of administering and collecting charges for fire and rescue services.

E. Failure to Pay Charge – Violation.

1. Any person who fails to pay a fire and rescue service charge within ninety (90) days of receipt of a bill from the City, or within such additional time as may be allowed by a written extension of time by the Fire Chief, is in violation of this code. The issuance and enforcement of a citation for this violation is governed by the provisions of AMC Chapters 1 and 15, and any other remedy provided by municipal or state law.

2. It shall be a defense in any proceeding that:

a. The person did not receive fire or rescue services;

b. The person is exempt from the payment of the charge; or

c. The charges were improperly computed and billed.

3. Failure to pay a fire and rescue service charge when due shall also subject the obligee to the general penalties for violation of City ordinances and any other remedy provided by municipal or State law.

F. Appeal Procedures. A person AF&R determines to be liable for fire and rescue services charges may appeal AF&R’s determination as provided in AMC 2.30.020 [Administrative Appeals Process]. A person whose application for a permit for exemption from fire restrictions is denied by the Fire Code Official or who objects to fire inspection fees or fees imposed by the Fire Code Official for noncompliance with regulations in AMC Chapter 15.28 or the Oregon Fire Code may appeal the decision as provided in AMC 2.30.020, which appeal shall be decided in compliance with Appendix A of the Oregon Fire Code. (Ord. 3081, amended, 04/02/2013)

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