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Fees Added for Inspecting Solar Panels, Pools

The township ordinance is being changed to account for new inspections.

The township is making a few changes to its ordinance concerning construction fees to account for new types of inspections needing to be done frequently around the township.

The council unanimously approved an introduction to an ordinance about the changes at the Aug. 6 meeting.

The two main changes, according to code enforcement superintendent Steve Rodzinak, concern elevator inspections and solar inspections.

As for elevators, Rodzinak said, it is an intense inspection requiring testing smoke detectors in every lobby of a building, among other work. He said it could take several hours to complete.

“We did not have it addressed in our fee schedule,” he said. “This addresses new installations.”

As for solar inspections, Rodzinak said that they were never addressed in the ordinance, but have become more prevalent now that the county is putting up panels at the , , and other locations.

Rodzinak said that the township department has fallen a little behind in terms of catching up on inspections for solar because they only have part time inspectors.

“We have to balance them with a review of new applications,” he said, “and complete inspections are required to be done in 72 hours.”

The fee for the installation of solar panels from 1 to 50 kilowatts will be set at $67, $134 for panels from 50 to 100 kilowatts and $667 for panels above 100 kilowatts.

In addition, Rodzinak said, the change in the ordinance addresses seasonal blow-up pools, at 24 inches deep or more, as opposed to regular in-ground ones that are around all year.

“We wanted to address this as opposed to regular pool inspections, which could be $100,” he said. “We figured $20 covers our time to go out and make sure it’s safe if it’s brought to our attention.”

“We wanted to make sure we have this safeguarded so people would still come to us for permits,” he added.

Councilman Matthew Moench asked what is involved for the above-ground pools and asked about time spent versus for in-ground pools.

“There is building and electrical inspection,” Rodzinak said. “There is a new circuit.”

“There is a longer inspection for in-ground pools,” he added. “Just on building, looking at footing, foundation of the pool and the bonding that has to go into that. Larger pools are more labor intensive.”

Several council members asked about manpower for completing all this work, but Rodzinak said the department does have a sufficient number of inspectors.

“Right now is peak construction time anyway,” he said. “We expect it to slow down soon, and we’ll catch up.”

“And if we need to bring in people for additional time, we’ll bring it to the administration’s attention and work it out,” he added.

Public hearing for the ordinance will be held Aug. 20.

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