By Anna Lothson
Every alarm user in Oak Park must register their alarm by getting a permit for each system, according to village code, but until recently the village had no enforcement to ensure people renewed the permits.
The permit fee is just $25 for residential users and $50 for nonresidential users. The ordinance covers fire, burglar, dual purpose fire and burglar, holdup and burglar, and medical alert alarms.
Permits are set to be renewed ever September, with a due date of Oct. 1, but as often discovered by the fire department when its staff shows up to calls many people aren't renewing that registration.
New software, however, has made available data on how many users have not renewed in a timely manner, according to a report presented at a recent village board meeting. Without an enforcement mechanism for late payments or not renewing at all, that is a "sizable figure," the report states.
The new ordinance addresses that issue as it implements an escalating fee system for permits that are one month late or more than two months late. The cost of the alarm permit after Oct. 1 would double the rate, and after Dec. 1, the initial $25 fee would raise to $100 and $50 fee to $200.
All trustees were in favor of the measure though it will go through a second reading before going into effect.