County calls meeting for building code discussion

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Home Inspection

The Scott County Board of County Commissioners will continue its discussion about opting into residential building codes in a special called meeting on Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.
The meeting should have representatives from Rep. Kelly Keisling's and Senator Ken Yager's offices, representatives from the Department of Commerce and Insurance, and all county commissioners are expected to attend. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend if they have any input on adoption of the program.
It is some of the commissioners' hope that they might be able to convince state representatives to introduce some form of legislation to provide exceptions for inspections under state and federal grant and loan programs so Scott County can continue to utilize funds from these grants/loans.
At the present time, it is against state law for an inspector to conduct a home inspection in counties that have voted to opt out of the state program, which is the current status of Scott County.
As was pointed out recently by Tim Planer, Inspection Supervisor with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, they were not aware that inspections were still being conducted in Scott County until this summer when an inspector asked if it was okay for him to do so.
Planer told commissioners that from this point forward, no inspections can legally take place. The county either needs to opt into the state program or create their own building codes with their own inspector.
If the county decided to develop their own codes, they have to at least match the state codes. This means that they could be more restrictive than state codes, but not less restrictive.
If the commissioners decide to remain in "opt out" status, then the recent $350,000 HOME Grant will have to be returned to the state since it requires inspection of work performed. It could also jeopardize the ability of local residents to obtain home loans from the Federal Housing Administration, the Veterans Administration and any other federal programs that require home inspections.

Other items to come out of the committee meetings were the following:
• Approval of the recommendation of the E911 Board to have Wade Chambers replace Larry Lay on the board
• Approval of the recommendation of the Solid Waste Board to appoint Mitzi Baxter as the Oneida representative to fill the vacancy created by Stacey Kidd's resignation
• Approval of the 2017 Holiday Schedule for Scott County Government
• Approval of the road block request of the Pine Hill Volunteer Fire Department to hold road blocks on April 8, 2017, and Sept. 16, 2017 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
The commissioners will meet in their regularly scheduled meeting for December on Dec. 19 starting at 6 p.m.

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