Mayor wants to fine residents for making many 911 calls - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain mayor wants to fine residents for making numerous 911 calls


A new plan by New Britain Mayor Tim O'Brien will impose a fee on the owners of any property in the city that emergency officials constantly visit.

The proposed "Hot Spot" ordinance is designed to reimburse the city for emergency calls that tie up firefighters and police officers but don't result in related or required services. The plan is a way to balance the city's budget, and if not, cuts will be made.

"We're going to charge them an allocated cost of what they're actually costing the city," O'Brien said.

The ordinance calls for the fee to be imposed if any emergency personnel member is called to any specific property more than 10 times in a year. 

"The taxpayers in our city are paying higher taxes to serve these particular properties," O'Brien said.

Each police call costs the city about $600, the mayor added.

"It's not fair, absolutely not. That's their job, why I pay taxes," said Benjamin Ancona Sr. "Tax goes up every year."

Ancona is the landlord at 100 West St. where police said emergency services has been called 104 times this year, which is the most in the city.

The top two abusers of police calls in 2011 were New Britain High School, which had 222 calls, and the Hospital for Central Connecticut, which had 182. The hospital would be exempt.

"By the way, the ordinance is being written in such a way we can charge the tenants of the buildings," O'Brien said. "Students who hold loud parties in our neighborhoods, they may get substantial bills as well."

The ordinance, which would target blighted properties, could generate up to $5 or 6 million for the city, but more likely would bring in $1 million.

If the ordinance passes and someone does not pay the fine given to them, there will be a lien put on his or her property.

O'Brien's plan will be voted on during a Common Council meeting next month.

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