New city regulations and fees for burglar alarm systems officially takes effect Monday, although the city is giving about a 90-day grace period to help people become familiar with the new requirements.
An ordinance adopted by the Lampasas City Council in July requires business and residential alarm users to have a valid burglar alarm permit issued by the city. Any resident or business that does not have an alarm system permit by Jan. 1 could be charged additional fees.
New alarms must be permitted within 30 days of installation.
A one-year residential permit costs $25. Annual permit renewal is $15. Three-year residential permits are available for $30.
The city will charge $50 for a one-year commercial permit and $100 for a one-year permit for a financial institution. There is no fee for educational institution/government permits.
There is a $10 late fee for renewals or transfers, and a $25 reinstatement fee.
Each permit application must state the classification of the alarm system -- burglary, holdup, fire, emergency medical, duress, panic alarm, or other. For each classification, the application must state whether the alarm is audible or silent.
The new ordinance also includes fines for false alarms.
"Each year, false alarms cost the city and its citizens thousands of dollars and take police officers away from actual emergencies," the Lampasas Police Department said in a news release.
The fines are intended to lessen the financial effect on the city of unnecessary emergency responses to false alarms, according to the news release.
There is no fee for the first through third false alarm.
For the fourth and fifth false alarm in a 12-month period, however, the city will assess a fine of $50.
The fine is $75 for the sixth and seventh false alarm in any 12-month period. Eight or more false alarms within any 12-month period will result in a $100 fine.
Other fines and fees are:
• monitoring company failure to verify, $100 per incident
• appeal fee, $25 per appeal
• use of a non-permitted burglar alarm system, $100 per incident
• use of a burglar alarm system during alarm permit suspension, $200 per alarm
• failure to comply with or violation of ordinance Section 2-356 -- which relates to fines -- $200 per incident.