Oak Harbor: Code ordinances up for 2nd reading

Larry Limpf

The second reading of two ordinances that would adopt building codes for residential structures in Oak Harbor is scheduled for the Dec. 2 meeting of village council.
If passed, the ordinances would enable the village to contract with the Ottawa County Department of Building Inspection to enforce the state building code.
Tracy Buhrow, chief building official of the Ottawa County Department of Building Inspection, said last week he has met with council to discuss the code. Oak Harbor and Clay Center are the only two municipalities in the county that don’t contract with his office for residential inspections.
One ordinance requests certification for the village to enforce Ohio building standards for the “erection, construction repair, alteration and maintenance… of one-, two- and three-family dwellings.” The other ordinance designates Ottawa County would have authority for enforcing the standards by contracting with the village.
Mayor Quinton Babcock said the county already enforces the code for commercial buildings in the village but members of council haven’t reached a consensus on a residential code despite discussing the matter for months.
Those in favor of a residential code are of the opinion it would help protect residents from low-skilled or unscrupulous contractors. Council members with reservations question the effectiveness and cost of inspections.
Inspections of new construction or additions typically start at a base fee with the costs customized for the type of work being inspected.
A furnace replacement inspection in an existing home, for example, would cost $57 plus three cents per square foot of heated area, Buhrow said.
“Some view this as a pro and others a con. I think everyone on council is looking for feedback since there are undoubtedly significant benefits and significant costs,” the mayor said.
Village officials are accepting comments on the proposed legislation. The Dec. 2 meeting of village council starts at 7 p.m.
To contact the mayor go to qbabcock@oakharbor.oh.us or call Randy Genzman, village administrator, at 419-898-5561.


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