Thursday, Nov 27, 2014
Local News

LP discuses fire inspection agreement


Published:

LAKE PLACID - How many fire inspections did the county conduct in Lake Placid last year?

Councilman Mike Waldron has been trying for months to get an answer to that question.

At Monday's town council meeting, Waldron said he wanted to find out what has happened in the 22 years since the town established an inter-local agreement with the county.

"I've come to find out that evidently there is not a lot history or there is not a lot of records on file relative to exactly how many fire inspections have been done during that 22 years," he said.

After requesting a listing of inspections in Lake Placid in the past year, Waldron said, he received a list of 138 inspections in the Lake Placid "fire district," but he didn't get an answer on the number inspections that were conducted within the town of Lake Placid.

Waldron said he wanted to explore the impact if some day the town would have to pay a contractor or town employee to conduct fire inspections.

Waldron said Mayor John Holbrook suggested that the county perform 25 fire inspections per year in the town.

According to Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department Chief Adam Hess, the town can't set a number for the amount of inspections the county will conduct, Waldron said.

Councilman Ray Royce said his wife told him she operated a business for 23 years in two locations in downtown Lake Placid and never had a fire inspection.

Councilwoman Debra Worley said she has talked with many business owners who had been inspected.

"We've had the county come here and say they are satisfied with what they are doing and I am satisfied with what they are doing," she said. "I am not going to put the onus on the business owners just because we can and because we are a small community and we can make more regulations."

Waldron stressed that he could not get the number of businesses the county inspected last year within the town.

Worley counted, "That's more government. That's more regulation, and I'm not for it."

Town Administrator Phil Williams said, "If we request 25 fire inspections, that's just a round number, we have complied with our part for doing fire inspections. It doesn't have to be 25; there is no set number, but 25 a year is about the ratio that Sebring is doing for as many businesses as they have."

Royce said the town has to remind the county fire inspector that the town has an inter-local agreement to do fire inspections on the town's behalf.

The council's debate is whether or not it wants the county fire inspector to step up the pace or number of inspections, he said.

Royce made a motion supporting Holbrook's plan to send a letter to Emergency Operations Director Tim Eures to remind him of the town's inter-local agreement with the county concerning fire inspections.

Council approved the motion with Worley voting "no."

valero@highlandstoday.com

863-386-5826

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