Home inspectors explained their procedures to the Fennville City Commission Sept. 16, reported Commercial Record correspondent Jim Hayden on his Bicycle Base Fennville blog, after one commissioner had questioned the cause of two fires and an eviction notice. Hayden is also a member of the commission.
“Are we too lax in inspecting electrical in homes?” asked Mayor Tom Pantelleria.
In early September, wrote Hayden, Commissioner Danielle Brien expressed concerns that inspections are not being properly and fairly done after electrical issues caused a small fire at 209 Wilson St. in August and another blaze that same month at 333 Wilson St. Renters at 223 Wilson St. received an eviction notice because the home’s owner had not had the property inspected.
Brien was not at Monday’s meeting.
The city inspects rental homes every three years, according to Zoning Administrator Tasha Smalley of Michigan Township Services, the agency that handles property issues for the city.
The home at 209 Wilson was not due for an inspection until 2020, according to city documents.
The home at 333 Wilson was inspected in January but did not pass and had not yet been re-inspected.
The renters at 223 Wilson received the eviction notice — something Smalley called extreme — after the home’s owner did not comply with inspections for two years. Once the notice was served, the owner complied. The inspection occurred and the renters are still in the home, Smalley said.
Housing inspector Brian MacCartney also explained his work procedures for electrical, plumbing and mechanical.
“It’s really pretty simple,” he told the commission. “As much as I can see, I make sure it’s right.”
In other business, the commission:
- Approved the Fennville High School Homecoming Parade at 5 p.m. Oct. 4. Main Street and Maple Street will be closed during the event.
- Approved the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive for Oct. 11-12
- Approved buying a new police car for $43,766 and a new department of public works truck and plow for $35,572.
- Approved the process to hire a replacement for Craig Phillips, who is retiring from the DPW after 29 years. The city plans to have a new person starting by Nov. 18, according to City Manager Amanda Morgan.