GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Fire Rescue can now levy a fine on residents and businesses in some situations.
At the Great Falls City Commission meeting January 18, commissioners approved the use of fines.
It is something the fire department has been asking for.
“Really, the reason why it’s just getting instituted now is our inspection year starts over every year in January. It goes January 1 to December 31 every year. The fee structure was originally presented to the City Commission in June 2021 and we were just now able to get it on the agenda to move forward,” Great Falls Fire Marshal Mike McIntosh said.
You can be charged $100 for repeatedly falsely reporting an emergency and businesses can be fined up to $300 for not fixing fire code violations.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of educating the public, allowing them to know this new fee schedule is there,” said McIntosh. "We want to work with the businesses, we want to educate the businesses on why they need to comply with the fire codes. They are there for life safety and we want to make sure that everybody's safe. The last thing we want to do is get to the point where we have to issue the fees.”
The fire department can also now refer a business to the city attorney for possible further punishment if fire code violations have not been fixed after five inspections.