The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2019

City Council won’t ditch state inspectors

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The more information Van Wert City Council receives on state building inspections, the more adamant members become that the system seems to be working just fine the way it is.

Geoffrey Eaton, superintendent/chief building official for the state, gives a presentation on building inspection services offered by his agency.
Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

During a Judiciary and Annexation Committee meeting on Monday, Council members heard a presentation from Geoffrey Eaton, superintendent/chief building official for the Ohio Commerce Department’s Division of Industrial Compliance, on the building services offered by the state.

Eaton provided information on the Ohio Bureau of Building Code Compliance, noting that the state reviews more than 90 percent of the more than 6,000 plans submitted each year within 14 days of receiving them.

Councilman At-Large Joel Penton said he worked with contractors all over the state during his 30 years in the Claims Department of Central Insurance Companies.

“I’m not aware, in that 30 years, of any significant problems with the State of Ohio inspectors with scheduling or what they required,” Penton noted. “As long as we got construction and engineer’s plans over in a timely manner, they took care of everything quickly.”

“I think if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” the Council member added.

Contractor Ron Dull agreed with Penton, noting that he has worked with the state since 1980 and hasn’t had any problems with building inspections.

“Not once have we really had any major problems, as far as getting prints through the state, or anything after the prints were approved, of getting an inspection,” Dull said. “We all today, we get an inspection tomorrow.”

Dull also wondered who brought the issue up in the first place.

Council has been looking at a proposal to replace state inspections with either Miami County or Allen County for the city’s building inspection services after the issue was brought to city officials by the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners had decided to leave the issue to the city to decide, since most of the county’s building inspections take place in the city.

After Monday, though, it appeared as if Council has decided the issue is a non-issue, with all seven Council members voting against legislation changing the current system during an advisory vote on second reading of the ordinance.

The measure will come up for its third and final reading at the September 23 meeting, and will likely be voted down at that time.

During his report, Safety-Service Director Jay Fleming said the city had received a successful bid for street paving work on Rosalie Drive, and repaving will be done on that street, from Jennings Road to Spencer Street. Other streets to be repaved include Perry Street and Golden Oaks, while patchwork will be completed on Jackson Street.

Mayor Jerry Mazur noted that the final brush pick-up of the year started on Monday, while also providing information on the City Clean-up Day being held Saturday, September 28, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. During that time, Young’s Waste Service Transfer Station, 920 E. Jackson St., will accept drop-off items, including appliances (washers, dryers, microwaves, televisions, etc.) and furniture (couches, recliners, chairs, etc.), and any other item not accepted in city residents’ regular trash collection.

Items not accepted include hazardous waste, construction debris, recyclables, low-level radioactive waste, any untreated infectious wastes, lead acid batteries, whole or shredded scrap tires, yard waste, source separate yard waste or comingled yard waste, PCBs, and TENORMS.

Those wanting to drop off items must have a water bill or other ID showing they are city residents.

Also Monday, City Council approved preparation of legislation that would place establishment of a Charter Commission on the November 2020 general election ballot. The issue is the first step in establishing a charter form of government for the city.

Council also unanimously approved the final plat for the first phase of The Landing at Dickinson Farms subdivision and okayed a Community Reinvestment Area request from Greve Chrysler Jeep.

City Auditor Martha Balyeat noted that not much new was seen in the monthly bank reconciliation. While the city has collected $145,000 less than last year so far, and has spent $44,381 more than it has taken in, that aligns with projections for the year, she said.

Penton also noted during his Parks and Recreation Committee report that volunteers are needed to help with mowing city parks and other property, especially since college student workers have left for school.

A public hearing was also scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Monday, October 28, to discuss the annexation of property at the corner of Westwood Drive and Ervin Road.

The next meeting of Van Wert City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 23, in Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 515 E. Main St.

POSTED: 09/10/19 at 7:41 am. FILED UNDER: News