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LAW ALLOWS VILLAGE TO INSPECT DWELLINGS

The board of trustees enacted a local law to allow inspection of one- and two-family dwelling units that are not occupied by the owner of the building.

The village has been inspecting buildings with three or more rental units under the state uniform fire inspection code. The action Monday night extends the inspection to single- and double-unit buildings.

Trustee Michael Sullivan opposed the legislation.

"I am concerned it may give people a false sense of security," he said. "The concept is not wrong, but the inspections will not guarantee safety. The ordinance will not control unruly student housing."

Trustee Susanne Marsh was a driving force behind the legislation. She said the last census showed the village had about 3,500 dwelling units, of which 1,920 are rentals.

About 25 people attended the 45-minute public hearing. Most were in favor of some kind of inspection, but opposed to the fees that accompany the inspections. They said if the inspections benefit everyone in the village, the cost should be added to the taxes.

David Ryel of Temple Street said the fees and inspections are discriminatory.

"They're only for one business, the rental business," he explained.

Mayor Frank Pagano said the fees are to be used to hire an inspector.

The fees are a minimum of $40 for inspecting a single-family residence up to a maximum, for a residential care facility, of $100, plus $5 for each unit within the building. The inspections will be done every three years.

Attending the meeting were Mayor Mary Ann Thorpe of Brockport and Bill Weber, Brockport building and zoning officer.

"We're looking at something similar," the mayor said. "We want to see what a sister community did. We congratulate the board for tackling the problem of safety of all properties and residents."

Both Brockport and Fredonia have state colleges within their borders.

The board also:

Approved an early retirement incentive program, for which six village employees are eligible, said Administrator James Sedota.

Scheduled a private meeting today with Supervisor Mark Thomas and Councilman Edward Woloszyn of the Town of Pomfret to discuss water and sewer district contracts and other matters.

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