Common Council approves annual alarm fee for city residents and businesses

It will now cost thirty dollars a year to have an alarm in Syracuse for intrusion fire, holdup or medic alert systems. That was the intent when alarm registration became a law in the city back in 1995, but Monday afternoon, the common council actually added the annual fee.

â??We need to identify new ways to increase revenues, and something that we have not been collecting for 20 years are these fees,â?? said Common Councilor Pamela Hudson. â??We probably should be.â??

Syracuse Police were also at Mondayâ??s Common Council meeting, and they like the idea of registering every year for having an alarm. Not so much for the money collected, but because they say it'll make their jobs easier.

It's very important to us to get the information updated as much as possible,â?? said Syracuse Police Lieutenant Richard Shoff. â??And having it updated every year like our driverâ??s license will help us out a ton.â??

Right now the city gets about 9,000 false alarms a year and some councilors thought it would make more sense to assess penalties for them, instead of charging all 14,000 alarm users.

Councilor Kathleen Joy talked about why she voted against the fee.

â??If we're trying to help the police, we should encourage people to have alarms in their homes, not by charging them a fee.â??

But the council passed the annual fee with Councilors Joy and Chad Ryan objecting, so it will go into effect.

Seniors and not for profits will be exempted from the new fee.