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City of Chico could start fining Chico State for false fire alarms

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Chico Fire Station Number 5.

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Chico State could face hundreds of dollars in fees if the city changes fines issued for false fire alarms. The Chico City Council will take up the issue at Tuesday's meeting.

The council will consider adding an amendment to a city ordinance, allowing the city to charge the university fines for false fire alarms. The current ordinance does not include imposing and collecting fines from certain public agencies like Chico State.

The city enacted an ordinance in 2018 allowing the fire department to issue fines to businesses for repeat false alarms.

City officials said the university is one of the biggest offenders of false fire alarms. Since the ordinance was enacted, the Chico Fire Department has received nearly 300 calls for false fire alarms at Chico State University

Under the current ordinance, there is no fine for the first false alarm, $100 for the second, and $200 for the third and following alarms.

If the council approves this amendment, fees could be collected from Chico State for lost resources.

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We reached out to Chico State and they said in a statement: "Chico State is aware of the item on tonight’s City Council agenda, and it is our understanding that, as a state entity, we are not responsible for these charges. The University has been and continues to be focused on educating and training our students about safety and responsibility on campus and working with the City of Chico to help reduce the number of calls—which is the University’s ultimate goal, regardless of costs."

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