Winfield council eyes ordinance restricting who can do electrical work on pools

2013-03-25T19:30:00Z 2013-03-25T20:12:17Z Winfield council eyes ordinance restricting who can do electrical work on poolsLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
March 25, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

WINFIELD | Do-it-yourself homeowners won’t be permitted to complete electrical work on their swimming pools if an ordinance being considered by the Town Council passes muster.

The possibility was discussed at a recent study session.

Don Samburg and Jim Simmons said in the past some homeowners and unlicensed third parties have attempted to complete the electrical work to hook up filters and other apparatus to swimming pools with less than acceptable results.

The town of Winfield isn’t prepared to test homeowners to grant them licenses for electrical work, Samburg said.

Simmons, a licensed electrician in industry, recommended an ordinance requiring only a person holding an electrician’s license from a community in Lake County and contractors holding valid licenses and registered with the town be permitted to do this work.

Town Council President Gerald Stiener asked for and received unanimous approval from fellow council members to have Town Attorney Adam Sworden draft such an ordinance for consideration at the council’s regular meeting tonight.

The council is also considering some tweaking of business licensing procedures.

Currently the town requires businesses occupying real property to pay a $75 per year licensing fee. Any business that fails to obtain that license by Jan. 1 faces a $300 fee, Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson said.

So far this year, 120 businesses have been registered for licenses, Anderson said. About 15 known business have not registered and town officials are working on getting those properly licensed, he said.

“We send a postcard to each business in October, then do a follow-up in November. In December, we send a reminder,” Anderson told the council. “The business licenses bring in $11,000 a year.”

Council members, including Paulette Skinner, raised questions about whether religious and nonprofit groups should pay the same amount for licenses.

“There are no exclusions for that (type of business),” Stiener said.

However, the council will consider a possible waiver or separate fee for religious institutions and nonprofits. The members also will look at whether home-based businesses that bring in customers should also have licensing requirements.

Part of the licensing procedure involves a physical inspection of the business to check for code violations.

“Some businesses have had two, three or four repeat inspections. There’s no re-inspection fee,” Samburg said.

The council agreed that a charge for any re-inspection needs to be added.

“I suggest a fine if the business doesn’t pass on the second re-inspection,” Skinner said. “To keep going back and not charging, that’s just wrong.”

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