Elmira’s New Code Enforcment Dpt.

New Department will help the fire department

Elmira Code Enforcement Change

May 22, 2012

Elmira (WENY) - Elmira city leaders are tired of dangerous code violation getting out of hand. So the city is changing the system to help tackle the problem. Elmira's code enforcement currently falls on the city's fire department. The number of calls about code violations is becoming a real burden on fire fighters. City leaders want to reorganize it to help the fire department focus on its job, fighting fires. Elmira City Manager John Burin says the move is necessary to stay on top of code complaints in the city. In the early 90s Elmira's code enforcement merged with fire department, but back then the fire department had more people to handle complaints. Elmira's City Manager says the fire department has two code officers, and they're overwhelmed.

“Means high grass debris, peeling paint, demolitions, property registrations and any ordinance that we might decide to implement like abandoned property that will all be a part of code enforcement.”

This week Elmira city council decided to separate code enforcement from the fire department. the fire department will still handle fire code, commercial inspections, fire prevention and education. The new civilian code enforcement department will focus on property complaints.

“First thing we're going to do is get that junk and debris off the road and walkways and if they don't they're going to pay, financially,” says Burin. The new department will work hand in hand with city lawyers and the district attorney's office. Fire Chief Patrick Bermingham says the goal is to let the fire department focus on public safety.

“We need to make time for other things. We get focused on the pile of garbage and the high grass and it takes away from the potential that we have,” says Bermingham.

Over the next two weeks the city will hire a director and staff.