Build­ing Per­mits, In­spec­tions Set


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

LIN­COLN — Lin­coln City Coun­cil last week re­vised the city’s or­di­nance for build­ing per­mits to re­quire per­mits for alterations or re­mod­el­ing projects.

The or­di­nance ex­empts por­ta­ble build­ings and cos­metic alterations, such as new cab­i­nets, re­plac­ing floor and wall cov­er­ings or re­plac­ing win­dows of the same size.

The new or­di­nance, which takes ef­fect in 60 days, changes the cov­ered structures that re­quire a build­ing per­mit. The cur­rent or­di­nance says per­mits are re­quired for con­struc­tion or place­ment of any build­ing or struc­ture.

The new or­di­nance, known as the 2017 Re­model Build­ing Per­mit Amend­ment, re­quires per­mits for projects that in­clude con­struc­tion, re­model, al­ter, or for plac­ing a build­ing or struc­ture on land.

Per­mits also will be re­quired for any roof­ing re­pair that is larger than 100 square feet within a 12-month pe­riod. In ad­di­tion, prop­erty own­ers will have to get per­mits for projects that in­clude mod­i­fi­ca­tions in­volv­ing struc­tural work or work on the fram­ing of the struc­ture.

City busi­ness man­ager Rhonda Hulse said the city’s build­ing in­spec­tor rec­om­mended the changes so that re­mod­el­ing and con­struc­tion projects will have to be in­spected for safety rea­sons.

The Coun­cil con­sid­ered changes to the city’s or­di­nance for build­ing per­mits in March 2016, but tabled the pro­posal for more dis­cus­sions. Sev­eral al­der­men at that meet­ing said it ap­peared the or­di­nance would re­quire home­own­ers to get per­mits for home im­prove­ment projects, such as in­stalling new

car­pet and paint­ing jobs.

The or­di­nance ap­proved last week also sets fees for build­ing per­mits and in­spec­tions for re­mod­el­ing projects.

For re­mod­els, alterations, re-roofs or struc­tural work that do not ex­pand the ex­ist­ing foot­print of a struc­ture, per­mit fees are based on es­ti­mated cost of work and will be $25 for the first $1,000 of work and $4 per ad­di­tional thousand dol­lars.

In­spec­tion fees will be $100 for each build­ing sys­tem in­spec­tion or rein­spec­tion. A $100 in­spec­tion fee will be re­quired for all re­mod­els, al­ter­na­tions, re-roofs and struc­tural work (ex­cept for cos­metic projects).

In other ac­tion on Aug. 15, Coun­cil mem­bers ap­proved the pur­chase of two ve­hi­cles, a new Chevro­let Ta­hoe for Lin­coln Po­lice Depart­ment for $40,464 and a new Dodge Ram 2500 reg­u­lar cab for the Wa­ter Depart­ment for about $24,000.

Coun­cil mem­ber Johnny Stow­ers won­dered if the po­lice depart­ment could wait and pur­chase a new Ta­hoe out of the 2108 bud­get but Mayor Rob Hulse said the city is spend­ing money on re­pair­ing po­lice ve­hi­cles.

The last re­pair bill was $3,100, Hulse said.

“We’ve been putting it off and we are throw­ing good money after bad,” Hulse said, adding, “We have some ve­hi­cles that are wore out.”

Brian Key, as­sis­tant po­lice chief, told Coun­cil mem­bers of­fi­cers have been hav­ing prob­lems with their ve­hi­cles and there are times they have to switch ve­hi­cles out.

The new Ta­hoe will be pur­chased un­der the state pur­chas­ing con­tract. The price in­cludes ev­ery­thing, ex­cept the ra­dio and strip­ing pack­age.

The Coun­cil tabled an or­di­nance to amend the city’s pro­cure­ment pol­icy. The changes would al­low the mayor to seek in­for­mal bids, in­stead of sealed, com­pet­i­tive bids, for items that cost $20,000 to $75,000. The or­di­nance re­quires Coun­cil ap­proval be­fore an item can be pur­chased.

The city’s present pol­icy al­lows the mayor to pur­chase any item up to $20,000 and to seek sealed, com­pet­i­tive bids for any item over $20,000.

A new state pro­cure­ment law, which went into ef­fect July 31, al­lows an in­for­mal bid process for the $20,000$75,000 range.

Stow­ers agreed with the or­di­nance but said he be­lieved the state pro­cure­ment law only ap­plies to state agen­cies, not to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. He ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of Lin­coln’s pro­posal.

City At­tor­ney Steven Parker said Stow­ers was cor­rect in that the law ap­plied to state agen­cies but when tak­ing it in con­text with other laws, Parker said he be­lieved the city could use an in­for­mal, com­pet­i­tive bid process.

The Coun­cil tabled the or­di­nance to al­low Parker to in­ves­ti­gate it fur­ther and talk to the Arkansas Mu­nic­i­pal League.

Parker said he sug­gested the change be­cause of a re­cent paving project ini­ti­ated by the city.

“We should have been able to pick up the phone and call some com­pa­nies (for in­for­mal bids),” Parker said. “That’s what prompted us to look at this and sim­plify it.”

Hulse noted an in­for­mal, com­pet­i­tive bid process would al­low the city to seek bids by phone or other ways but not com­pro­mise the city’s abil­ity to se­lect the best bid for a project or jeop­ar­dize the Coun­cil’s in­tegrity.

The Coun­cil placed an­other or­di­nance on first read­ing that au­tho­rizes the city to con­duct busi­ness with al­der­men Doug Hutchins, Doug Moore and Robin Moore. The or­di­nance notes that at times the com­pa­nies owned or op­er­ated by the Coun­cil mem­bers pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices or prod­ucts to the city.

Hutchins is a prin­ci­pal in the firm R&R Truck and Trailer. Doug Moore is a prin­ci­pal in Moore Sales Com­pany and his wife, Robin, has an in­ter­est in the prof­its of the com­pany.

The Coun­cil did not have a quo­rum to ap­prove the or­di­nance in three read­ings at the meet­ing. Hutchins and the Moores could not vote be­cause of a con­flict of in­ter­est and Coun­cil mem­ber Bobby McDon­ald was ab­sent.

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