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A. Collection of monetary penalty. The monetary penalties assessed pursuant to this Chapter shall constitute a personal obligation of the person to whom the notice of civil violation is directed or the person responsible for the violation. In addition, the monetary penalties assessed pursuant to this Chapter may be assessed against the property that is the subject of the enforcement action. Any monetary penalty assessed must be paid to the City within ten (10) calendar days from the date of mailing of the Hearing Examiner’s decision or a notice from the City that penalties are due. The City Attorney, or his or her designee, is authorized to take legal action to collect the monetary penalty.

B. Use of collection agency. Pursuant to Chapter 19.16 RCW, as currently enacted or hereafter amended, the City may, at its discretion, use a collection agency for the purposes of collecting penalties and costs assessed pursuant to this Chapter. The collection agency may add fees or interest charges to the original amount assigned to collections as allowed by law. No debt may be assigned to a collection agency until at least thirty (30) calendar days have elapsed from the time that the City attempts to notify the person responsible for the debt of the existence of the debt and that the debt may be assigned to a collection agency for collection if the debt is not paid. Notice of potential assignment to collections shall be made by Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested to the last known address of the person responsible for the violation; provided, inability to ascertain a current mailing address shall not prohibit the debt from being assigned to collections.

C. Costs of abatement as personal obligation. The costs of any abatement action taken by the City shall become a charge to the person responsible for the violation. These charges may be assessed against the person responsible for the violation or the property upon which the violation occurred. The City may use any lawful means to collect charges, including but not limited to those set forth in SMC 1.14.240 A and B.

D. Costs of abatement as real property obligation. The costs of any abatement action taken by the City shall become a charge against the real property upon which the costs were incurred unless paid. Such costs shall be forwarded by the Code Enforcement Officer to the City Support Services Director, who shall certify them to the County Treasurer for assessment on the tax rolls, and to the City Attorney, who shall file a lien for such costs against the real property.

E. Contests of abatement costs. Any challenge to the amount of the abatement costs shall be heard by the City Support Services Director in an informal hearing. The City Support Services Director shall then make a written determination as to whether or not the City’s costs were accurate and necessary for accomplishing the abatement. If the costs are confirmed, then they shall be subject to collection as set forth in this section.

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