SUNBURY — Sunbury’s proposed business inspection order will go to a vote after several revisions, including the addition of grandfathered structures and a request for an exemption.
Sunbury officials released a statement Friday after meeting with Northeast Inspection Consultants (NEIC) and members of the city’s code office. Board members will set a date for a meeting with NEIC officials and the public to address any questions or concerns.
NEIC is a state-licensed inspection agency for commercial properties. Prior to the new ordinance, the city was not permitted to inspect commercial properties because special training is required, per state law. NEIC also serves Danville, Shamokin, Point Township and Northumberland.
Attorney Joel Wiest said the proposed changes to the order are being made for the “sole purpose of preventing imminent danger and keeping everyone safe”.
Any building currently standing will be “subject to ‘grandfathered’ status and no ‘new’ safety equipment such as sprinkler systems or ADA compliance will be applicable” to the updated code unless new construction is added, according to the released statement.
Other changes will include bypassing commercial inspection if the structure has been inspected for structural safety within the previous three years by a local, state, or federal agency and has also been subject to residential tenancy compliance inspections.
Commercial property owners will also receive a request from the city in the mail asking for any exemptions, Wiest said.
“Council is confident that a business inspection ordinance is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its residents and visitors,” Wiest said. “However, after careful consideration of concerns recently expressed by various members of the public, council trusts that the Commercial Inspection Ordinance will be fair and equitable to all owners of commercial property in the Town of Sunbury, including private individuals. , businesses. and government entities.
City Administrator Derrick Backer said the city will schedule the working session for the public to attend.
“Once we have a date, we’ll let the public know,” Backer said.
The problem started after the owners received a letter saying they would be inspected and the fee would be $200 every three years. Fees have not changed in the new proposal, according to the city council.
Former Councilman Chris Reis said that upon coming to council the ordinance was identified as necessary due to the deteriorating condition of commercial properties across the city without a proper inspection process, he said. therefore pushed to put one in place.