Short-handed codes department to prioritize inspections

NORWICH – The Chenango County Public Health Department is prioritizing inspections of properties to determine if they are complying with New York State’s building and fire codes because it is shorthanded.

One code enforcement officer, two building inspectors and one clerical worker – who is actually borrowed from another department – just isn’t cutting it, said Director Marcas Flindt. There are numerous outstanding permits, and as a result, the department is down 72 percent for the year in permits and inspection fee collections.

Plus, a billing back program isn’t working. The program was created last year when some towns – led by the Town of Norwich – opted to hire or share their own code enforcement officer. The department’s director told members of the Chenango County Safety and Rules Committee this month that town supervisors aren’t willing to pay the $40 to $120 fee to send someone out from the county to conduct building and fire inspections on suspect properties.

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