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11/06/2012 06 Fire Code Inspection Fee Program ■ qi BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDA STATEMENT Item No. For Meeting of: November 6, 2012 - I - •• ITEM TITLE: Fire Code Inspection Fee Program. SUBMITTED BY: David Willson, Fire Chief CONTACT PERSON /TELEPHONE: Chief Willson, 575 -6165 SUMMARY EXPLANATION: The Annual Fire Inspection program was eliminated from the budget in 2012. The FY 2013 proposal is to reestablish annual fire safety inspections at a cost of $175,911 30 annually under the direction of the Fire Department. The council has also discussed a fee to offset the direct cost of performing the inspections. After much discussion with all parties involved, it seems most prudent and cost effective to have the business license cost increased by the needed amount rather than add the manpower intensive step of billing and receiving payment for each business. The attached memo outlines two funding options as well as explanations. Resolution Ordinance Other (specify) Contract: Mail to: Contract Term: Amount: Expiration Date: Insurance Required? No Funding Source: Phone: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL: EL lr• City Manager STAFF RECOMMENDATION: BOARD /COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: ATTACHMENTS: Click to download Fire Inspection Program /Fee Proposal AFire dministration Suppression � 0A Fire Investigation � 401 North Front Street, Yakima, WA 98901 (509) 575 -6060 & Education Fax (509) 576 -6356 Training , 'ieE Utei' www.yakimafire.com Communications Y Date: October 29, 2012 To: Honorable Mayor, Members of City Council Tony O'Rourke, City Manager From: Dave Willson, Fire Chief Subject: Fire Inspection Program Fee Collection Proposal • Objective: Provide a fee schedule and collection process that is minimal and equitable to business owners and minimal in manpower and cost to the City. Primary Points of Consideration: • The Council has identified the need to re- institute an annual fire inspection • program under the management of the Fire Department. This program will provide required annual fire safety inspections only and not code enforcement practices. The program will use two full time inspectors under the same Civil Service Class Code and Pay Code as the previous inspectors were under. • The cost of running this program inclusive of all salaries, benefits, equipment, fuel, and training is $175,911.30 per year. This amount is included in the proposed 2013 budget and does not include increases in fuel, wage, and benefit costs for years after that. • Required testing of fire related systems such as automatic sprinklers, alarm systems, hood suppression systems, and extinguishers will remain the obligation of the business owner and performed by a certified testing firm. Methods of fee collection: To minimize the cost of ,this program, a foremost consideration is to design it with as little human involvement as possible. We are only counting on using two inspectors and making all other record keeping and billing a non human process. With this in mind, the fee collection process must operate without paper, stamps, envelopes, money and check handling, or manual billing data entry. A fee schedule was calculated and designed for each occupancy level, using a two part formula. The plan was to have the fee amount auto populate at the codes department so the fee could be charged when the business license was purchased each year. After meeting with the codes department representatives, legal and financial staff, it was • found that the data cannot be uploaded into Paladin system without a software upgrade if there is one. After much discussion, it was realized that the most expedient and efficient way to collect the fee was to increase the business license by an amount equal to what the cost would be to the business owner. A preliminary determination by the legal department shows that this "regulatory fee" to be an acceptable practice. OPTION #1 Increase business license fee by a percentage that will closely mirror the fee collection formula. The increase would range from $15 to $245. Strengths: • There will be no added man -hours added to the process of annual fire inspectors for fee collection. • Fee collection rates will be commensurate to size of business. • No additional. • No additional man -hours for finance department billing processes. • No delinquent fee collection process for city or business. Weakness' • Non profit businesses will not be funding inspection program (legal dept. is researching possibility of adding a fee structure for non profits). OPTION #2 Impose fee -for- service billing system. Each business would be charged a fee after each inspection is performed. Fee is based on formula. Strengths: • Each business would pay a more exact amount for service including those non profits not protected by state mandate. Weaknesses: • Require billing, collecting, depositing actions by a person in fire and /or finance division. • The City would be placed in position to impose non - payment penalties on businesses. • Additional book keeping system would have to be added for separate fee collection system. • RECOMMENDATION FROM STAFF Staff recommends Option #1 for fee collection system to fund annual fire inspection program.