SMITHFIELD – Businesses and homeowners who have more than three false fire alarms in a calendar year will be fined under a new Amended Fee Schedule approved recently by the Smithfield Town Council.
During the 2022-2023 budgeting process there were discussions regarding changes to Fire and Police Department fees. The town council recently approved the fee schedule in a 6-to-0 vote. The fees take effect immediately.
Fire Chief Mike Brown said there will be no citations issued for the first, second, and third false fire alarms at the same address during a 12 month period. However, with the fourth activation there will be a $150 penalty. With each additional false activation the fine increases by $50. For example, the fifth false activation will cost homeowners or businesses $200 and the sixth activation $250. There will be no charge for valid fire alarms.
Parking violation citations will cost more. Parking on the wrong side of the street, too close to the corner, across the parking line, or on the crosswalk had been a $10 fine. The fine is now $25.
Parking in a fire lane had been a $25 penalty. That is now $50. Police will work to educate the public about the fire lane violations before issuing fines.
Parking in front of a fire hydrant will cost you $50, up from the previous $25 penalty amount. Abandoning a car on the street will cost $25. Parking in a handicapped zone is now $75, up from the previous $50 fine.
Previous penalties that were $10 are now $25 for parking more than 12 inches from the curb, double parking, parking in a loading zone, blocking a driveway, parking in a traffic lane, parking on a sidewalk, blocking an intersection, parking in a no parking area, and all other parking violations.
Town Councilman Travis Scott asked Smithfield Police to understand that many drivers park their vehicles on the edge of the sidewalk along Market Street in the Downtown area to avoid their cars being struck by passing vehicles.
Parking fines not paid within 48 hours of being issued could be penalized an additional $50.