Due to the many reported false fire alarms in town, the Darien Board of Selectmen is considering readjusting its fire alarm fee schedule.

According to First Selectman Jayme Stevenson at the Aug. 5 Board of Selectmen meeting, the town is considering a graduated fee schedule for repeated false alarms. According to the code of ordinances for fines, the town currently charges $100 per false alarm.

Stevenson said: “There seems to be a fair number of false alarms and a number of significant repeat offenders.”

Town Administrator Kate Buch said that, according to the fire marshal’s report, 55.4 percent of reported fire alarms were false alarms in fiscal ’19.

In addition, there were 191 false fire alarm calls from only 70 different addresses.

“Some of the addresses had only two false alarms [but there were] up to eight false alarms at one address,” Buch said.

“We don’t have full-time professional firemen staying in a firehouse waiting for an alarm,” Selectman Marc Thorne said. “When an alarm goes off, somebody has to leave their home, they have to leave their employment, they have to go to the firehouse. For repeat offenders, that’s just really not right.”

Stevenson said false alarm noise is “a negative quality of living issue for many.”

The town is trying to find a compromise that “improves the quality of living but keeps a solid system for emergency response,” she said.

Members also discussed creating a better system to collect false alarm fees. The revenue from these fees is being used to improve fire services and police services.

They will explore the matter further.

Certificate of Achievement

The Board of Selectmen has again received the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for excellence in financial reporting for the town’s year-end 2018 comprehensive annual financial report.

According to the Government Finance Officers Association’s website, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program was established to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.

The goal of the program is to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves, according to the website.

Reporting blight

If residents see blight or something they think is blight, they should report it on the town of Darien website, darienct.gov, under the How Do I? section. Click on Report Blight.

“We don’t drive around town looking for blight,” Buch said. “If a property was reported as blight in the past, we may have determined that it was not blight, or the blight may have been cured to the town’s satisfaction. It doesn’t fall back into blight. We won’t know about it unless somebody reports it to us again.”

sfox@darientimes.com