by Samara Postuma
The city of Albertville recently discussed amending an ordinance relating to fire inspections. Currently the city doesn’t charge to inspect newly inspected fire alarms and sprinkler systems yet has to pay the city of St. Michael Fire Marshal for the inspection.
Albertville also doesn’t charge for fire inspections of existing buildings of the subsequent follow up fire inspections that happen due to various violations.
“We’ve had situations where the Fire Chief has returned for follow up inspections three or more times, only to find that the owner has not corrected the violations,” wrote city attorney Mike Couri in a memo to the council.
The proposed ordinance would impose a $50 inspection fee for new sprinkler system and fire alarm inspections and also for any inspections beyond the third inspection where a violation has been found and the owner hasn’t fixed it.
“We’re currently having to send the chief out on these inspections and pay him but aren’t charging anything,” city administrator Adam Nafstad explained to council.
“It’s not an issue that the business owners can’t do it, rather it’s that they don’t want to,” said Couri. “In a sense this would ‘light a fire’ to get it done to avoid paying fees.”
The business owners do receive a letter after each visit from the Fire Chief and this fee would only be imposed if the violations still had not been fixed after the third inspection.
“Hopefully it won’t apply to many but some of those businesses who are requiring multiple visits and not taking care of violations,” said Nafstad.
Council member Wagner made a motion to approve the ordinance and Rob Olson seconded and the motion unanimously was approved.
In other Albertville news, the council
APPROVED a Public Words request to purchase a Boss Snow Plow. The two plows the city currently has and uses are 12 and 14 years old and if one plow goes down the city experiences operational issues and delays.“We don’t really have a backup,” Nafstad explained.
APPROVED the purchase of a Boss Snow Plow that Public Works Supervisor, Tim Guimont, suggested will be moved to other vehicles as needed. The expense is estimated to be between $5500-$6000 and is a budgeted expenditure.
The next Albertville City Council meeting is Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at Albertville City Hall.