Miami Lakes

Miami Lakes council makes changes to alarm fees

The Miami Lakes council approved an ordinance Tuesday which amends the fees and penalties associated with burglar alarms installed within the town.

The ordinance, passed unanimously on second reading, calls for the elimination of burglar alarm registration fees, and revises penalties for false alarms.

“So from now on when you register it’s going to be free, and annual renewals are also free,” said Alex Rey, town manager, during the council meeting Tuesday night. “So you really don’t pay anything unless you have repeated false alarms.”

Under the amended rules, owners will be charged for false alarm calls beginning with the third offense, at that point the penalty is a $50 fine. Previously, a charge was not issued until the fourth offense. Subsequent fees for false alarms will gradually increase ending with a $250 fine for the sixth offense, and any offense afterward. The previous cap had been $200.

The false alarm count will reset every calendar year. In addition, the $10 to $15 annual renewal fee for burglar alarms has been eliminated, as has the $15 new burglar alarm registration fee.

In a phone interview Vice Mayor Manny Cid, who worked with town staff on this ordinance, said he’s happy the item passed.

“Every time you have the police come out it’s expensive,” said Cid, adding two officers respond to burglar alarm calls. “It’s not fair to a vast majority of our residents to subsidize those who have six false alarms in a year. We have to reward those who do the right thing.”

The ordinance is part of the town’s efforts to alleviate police resources by reducing the number of calls for false alarms.

The new fee structure is expected to be a revenue neutral change, according to town documents. The purpose is to help alleviate police resources by reducing the number of calls for false alarms as part of the town’s False Alarm Reduction Program.

The town officials expect a reduction in false alarm calls with the passing of this ordinance.

Alarm users in Miami Lakes are still required to register their alarm systems with the town and continue to be responsible for updating all registration information if their system is disconnected, they move, or if they change alarm monitoring service providers.

In other business:

▪ The council agreed to consider changing the date for regular council meetings from the second Tuesday of the month to the first Tuesday of the month. The item is set to go before the council for vote at an upcoming meeting.