Hammond fire chief named to city board

2013-04-23T20:30:00Z 2013-04-23T23:16:06Z Hammond fire chief named to city boardBy Chelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith is the newest member of the Board of Public Works and Safety, city officials announced this week.

Smith will take the place of Corporation Counsel William O'Connor on the board charged with overseeing infrastructure improvements and city contracts and hearing employee disciplinary appeals.

A bulk of the board's work also deals with housing in the city and code enforcement issues with rental properties. Smith said rental properties being divided into different apartment units can impact his department's work.

Last year, the Hammond Inspections Department removed approximately 100 illegal “cut-ups” in the city. The properties often are former single-family homes that were divided into apartment units, posing fire traps and other hazards.

Smith joins City Controller Bobby Lendi and City Engineer Stan Dostatni on the board.

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