Winfield council reviews ordinances

2013-04-14T19:45:00Z 2013-04-14T21:49:03Z Winfield council reviews ordinancesLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 14, 2013 7:45 pm  • 

WINFIELD | The Town Council recently tweaked a series of proposed ordinances regarding new licensing requirements for tradesmen and businesses and new rules for rental properties.

Most of the proposals were sent back to Town Attorneys David Austgen and Adam Sworden for language changes after the review, council President Gerald Stiener said.

The council may vote on the proposals at its next official meeting April 23.

The new licensing requirements would apply to tradesmen who work on residential or commercial projects in Winfield. Originally, the council sought to prohibit homeowners from installing any electrical equipment on their own swimming pools.

At a March meeting, council members Don Samburg and Jim Simmons said 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 ordinance reviewed last week extended the registration and licensing of contractors to other tradesmen, including general contractors. Those who are currently registered with the town can continue to do work. Any new contractors or tradesmen would have to be licensed and registered.

As of Jan. 2, 2014, all contractors doing work in Winfield would have to hold a license from a community in Lake County.

Simmons said the new ordinance will give chief building inspector Tom Richardson “the teeth he needs” to ensure only licensed contractors are used.

Business licensing procedures will change if a new procedure is adopted April 23.

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.

Part of the licensing procedure involves a physical inspection of the business to check for code violations. Under the new procedure, businesses that fail that inspection and have to be re-inspected will pay an additional fee.

The new procedure will exempt religious and charitable institutions from paying the initial $75 licensing fee but they will face inspection. They would pay for repeat inspections.

A proposed rental ordinance is being studied in light of the Town Council’s approval of the International Property Maintenance Code at its March 25 meeting.

The maintenance code provides leverage for the exterior upkeep of a property, Councilman Dave Anderson said. However, officials are reviewing how to determine the number of people living in a rental property.

In addition, the Winfield Town Council will continue having the attorneys work on drafts of the lift station bonding and standards regulations. The new regulations will provide general requirements for wastewater/sewage mechanical devices put into future residential developments.

The issue of improperly installed lift stations has been an ongoing problem in Winfield as developments have been built during the last 20 years.

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