Plain City is moving forward with plans to cut ties with Union County’s building department.
Village Council held a special meeting Monday to discuss legislation that would name West Jefferson as Plain City’s designated building department.
Village Administrator Nathan Cahall said Plain City initially contracted with Union County’s building department in 1997, with updates to the agreement in 2006.
However, he said council decided late last year to change service providers.
“I think council collectively felt there would be better service delivery from West Jefferson,” he said.
Following this decision, Cahall posted a letter dated July 31, 2019, notifying residents of the new designation. The letter also states “all zoning permits, etc.” will still be handled in Plain City offices.
Despite this, the switch to West Jefferson was delayed due to administrative requirements from the state’s Board of Building Standards.
In order to change service providers, Cahall said the village’s building department would need to be recertified by that Board of Building Standards.
“Our certification as our own building department was predicated on Union County being our service provider,” he explained.
Current Plain City legislation authorizes the village to enter agreements specifically with Union County.
As the village’s service provider, Union County is authorized to enforce the Residential Code of Ohio and Ohio Building Code within the village limits.
If Plain City pursues an agreement with another service provider, the village’s certification as a building department would no longer be valid.
To renew their certification with a new designated building department, the village needed to rework existing legislation for the Board of Building Standards to review, according to Cahall.
He also said the Board of Building Standards told the village Friday, Oct. 4 is the deadline to submit legislation for the board to review during its October meeting.
Since the next regular village council meeting fell after the cutoff, on Oct. 9, the special meeting was held, along with an emergency declaration.
During Monday’s meeting, council voted unanimously to amend the existing ordinance so it establishes the West Jefferson Building, Planning and Zoning Department as its designated building department.
Council also voted unanimously to declare the ordinance an emergency and waive its three readings.
The updated ordinance, now designating West Jefferson, was approved with a 6-0 vote.
After the ordinance is reviewed by the Board of Building Standards, Cahall said Plain City staff will be authorized to file the necessary paperwork to officially contract with West Jefferson.
In other business:
– Council member Kerri Ferguson said the next work session will take place on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m., prior to the regular council meeting.
The location has yet to be confirmed.
– Ferguson said the first meeting of the charter committee will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the high school.
The committee is working to meet requirements, such as collecting signatures, to ensure charter legislation appears on the upcoming ballot.
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