CP Council revises apartment inspection details
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent February 4, 2013 9:52PM
Updated: February 6, 2013 10:04PM
CROWN POINT — A rental compliance inspector position has been created to enforce the city’s new rental registration and inspection ordinance.
The Crown Point City Council on Monday created the position after changing the job title in the original ordinance from rental compliance officer to rental compliance inspector and allowing the mayor, instead of the director of planning and building, to make the appointment.
Mayor David Uran said changing the title of the position from officer to inspector “softens the approach” when the individual approaches apartment dwellers for the inspections. Giving the power to appoint the position to the mayor will allow the city to hire the inspector instead of waiting for the vacant director of planning and building position to be filled.
The rental compliance inspector position pays $47,000 and will be funded 50 percent by revenues generated from the new ordinance and 50 percent from the city’s Utilities Department.
Uran said the 50-50 split was necessary in the first year because of the initial outlay of about $20,000 for the computer tracking software necessary to implement the inspection program.
Uran said he would like to see the city’s new rental property registration ordinance become a model for the state as the Indiana Legislature gets ready to consider legislation that would prevent such ordinances from becoming revenue generators.
House Bill 1313 would prevent municipalities from using inspection fees and compliance fines as a way to shore up their general funds.
The city’s ordinance, he said, is an example of how “to do it right.” Fees and fines collected as a result of the new ordinance will be used to pay for the inspector and the program.
Councilman Bill Feder, who sat on the ordinance committee, said city officials work hard to ensure the ordinance would be revenue neutral, meaning it would not generate revenue for the city but also that it would not cost the city money to run.
Feder said he would like officials to review how the position is paid every year to eliminate the burden on the Utilities Department.