ALPENA – Alpena residents who do not follow local codes and ordinances can expect to receive citations that could potentially hit their wallets hard.
The city is dealing with a surge of people not registering their rental properties, getting necessary permits for building projects, officials say, while others are letting their homes fall into disrepair.
Building official Don Gilmet said when city operations were curtailed during the shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, the building department fell behind on some enforcement and inspection issues. and it continues to catch up.
That means anyone caught taking shortcuts or ignoring city rules and regulations can expect a ticket of up to $500. If ticket issues are not resolved, Gilmet said, follow-up citations will also be issued.
“What’s going to happen is somebody’s going to get a ticket, and a ticket, and another ticket, and hopefully when they end up paying $1,000, they’ll change their mind and deal with it. of his business,” Gilmet said.
Gilmet said building officials will speak to owners and work with them to resolve their issues. But, Gilmet said, if no effort is made to fix the problem, citations will be issued.
“We want to get compliance as easy as possible, but right now people aren’t doing what they need to do,” he said.
Unsightly, unsightly homes and properties are a big problem in Alpena and they’re getting worse, Gilmet said. He said there are lots of houses that have trash scattered around, along with other items like old cars and bicycles.
People doing construction work and installing appliances without proper permits and inspections are also on the rise, Gilmet said. He said contractors are busy, so more people are doing the work themselves or hiring unauthorized people to do the work for them.
This, Gilmet said, could result in a new oven being installed incorrectly, which creates a health issue and is not up to code.
“Maybe it’s set up well and maybe it’s not,” he said. “Sometimes they are installed correctly and sometimes not, and they become unsafe and dangerous. People hire someone who is not licensed and does not know the process. We find out and we can come in and have it all ripped off. It would be sad if someone spent $10,000 on insulation and drywall and we came and said, “Tear it all out.”
Gilmet said people who need their property cleaned should do so, and landlords who don’t have their rental properties registered with the city should do so, so the property can be inspected.
He said people who want to know how to get a permit or find a licensed contractor for construction can contact the building department at City Hall.
“Like I said, we’re ready to work with people, but we also need people to work with us,” he said.