Proposed ordinance would allow Sumter codes enforcement officers to issue summons for shoddy work

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 9/18/18

Sumter County Council discussed giving more authority to code enforcement officers to deal with dishonest residential contractors during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Reading: First of …

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Proposed ordinance would allow Sumter codes enforcement officers to issue summons for shoddy work

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Sumter County Council discussed giving more authority to code enforcement officers to deal with dishonest residential contractors during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Reading: First of three

Agenda item: An ordinance to authorize county council to appoint code enforcement officers by resolution.

Background: Sumter County Attorney Johnathan Bryan said the S.C. Code of Laws gives county council the authority to appoint code enforcement officers and that this ordinance will set the procedure to do so.

The ordinance was brought to council in response to the building department receiving complaints about contractors not complying with building codes when doing residential work.

Residents later find out an application for a building permit was never submitted and that substandard materials and building methods were used, Bryan said.

Under the procedures of the ordinance, he said the planning or building department directors will recommend code enforcement officers to the county administrator, who will decide to recommend that individual to council to be given the authority to issue courtesy summons so alleged offenders can face accusations in the magistrate's court.

Selected code enforcement officers would not have the same authority as law enforcement, Bryan said.

Mixon said the code enforcement officers recommended to council will already be employees of the building or planning departments who are certified and qualified for the job.

Discussion: Bryan said he expects the city to use its authority to determine how this same issue will be handled in the city.

Mixon said county staff will try to address the issue of where - in both the city and county or just the county - the selected code enforcement officers would have authority before second reading.

Vote: Unanimous approval