Commissioners approve Amended Alarm Ordinance

Board of Commissioners
BOC approve alarm ordinance

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. — The Fannin County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a new alarm ordinance. The commissioners also approved purchases for the Sheriff’s Office and 911 Center.

During their July 12 meeting, the commissioners voted to adopt the Fannin County Amended Alarm Ordinance. At a public hearing in February, it was noted that false alarms were becoming an issue for Fannin’s first responders. A Fannin County Fire Department representative had noted that responding to a call costs around $300 and that each of the 66 alarm calls received in the last year were false alarms. Sheriff Dane Kirby also emphasized hundreds of false alarm responses.

In response, the newly adopted ordinance states: “It is hereby found and determined that three or more false alarms within a permit year is excessive, constitutes a public nuisance, and shall be unlawful.” While first and second false alarms carry no penalty, the third violation will receive a $150 penalty. At their fifth, and any subsequent violation, an alarm user will receive a $500 penalty.

The ordinance will begin to effect alarm users, defined as “any person, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, governmental or educational entity or any other entity owning, leasing, or operating an alarm system, or on whose premises an alarm system is maintained for the protection of such premises,” beginning on September 1, 2022.

Other Business

The commissioners were also presented with the Annual Financial Report for 2021. Amanda Wilkson, with BatesCarter, presented the report. She noted that 2021 revenues had increased by almost $6 million compared to 2020 revenues, largely due to an increase in property and sales tax revenue. When asked, Wilkson suggested that the county utilize its large fund balance on capital projects.

Sheriff Dane Kirby spoke to the commissioners on behalf of Major Keith Bosen, who was unable to attend. He explained that three high speed cameras on a patrol car tag reader needed to be replaced. The commissioners approved the $8,400 purchase from the Public Safety SPLOST Fund.

The commissioners also approved $122,200 to be spent on upgrading the 911 Center’s phone system from 2014. Deputy EMA Director Patrick Cook explained that the prior system vendor no longer supports the system, meaning there was no one to service the system. While Cook noted there were no current problems, he said the upgrade will provide five years of hardware and labor maintenance. The addition of a fourth answering position and the possibility of hiring another deputy was discussed as well.

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