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Nigh questions alarm fee

November 23, 2001

Nigh questions alarm fee



By DAN KULIN
dank@herald-mail.com


Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny May Nigh does not have a city-required permit for her home alarm system, and she says the city is wrong to charge a fee for such a document.

During the council comments period at the end of the Tuesday council meeting, Nigh said a neighbor told her she needed a permit for her home alarm. Nigh said she had never heard that was necessary.

Since at least 1990, city residents have been required to pay $15 annual fees for their home alarm systems. Homeowners older than 65 are exempt from the fee. Businesses are required to pay a $30 annual fee for alarm systems.

"I'm upset that citizens are charged for this," Nigh said.

Nigh, a council member for about six months, campaigned on an anti-crime platform and said fear of rising crime in the city prompted her to run for council.

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Nigh said an alarm was installed at her North Mulberry Street home in September because "We are inundated with crime and drugs."

She said she will get the permit if she must.

Mayor William M. Breichner said the alarm fee was established because police were responding to many false alarms.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the council should discuss the alarm permit fee for residents during a future council work session.

The city law that established the alarm fee does not include a penalty for not having such a permit.

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