Press-Republican

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February 17, 2014

Rental housing inspections underway in Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE — All multi-family apartment buildings in this village are being inspected this year.

It’s a process that has to be done every three years.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau said Matt Steenberge started the inspections when he took over the code-enforcement position in January.

About 200 multi-family rental buildings exist in the village.

“The goal is three per week,” Rabideau said via email. “This is in addition to his other code-enforcement duties.”

An inspection update will be presented to the Village Board at its Feb. 24 meeting.

‘TOP PRIORITY’

The focus is on rental houses with three or more units and does not include duplex rental buildings or single-family houses.

“We’d like to get up to a speed and rhythm where all 200 can be done in a year’s time, but realistically, it will be 1.5 to 2 years for all 200 for the start, with only one inspector who has other duties to attend to,” Rabideau said of inspections underway.

Code requirements being checked include making sure the apartments and buildings have functioning smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, cleared entries and exits, handrails in stairways and functioning windows and doors.

“These are among many others,” Rabideau said. “A comprehensive list of what items will be inspected is sent along with each landlord inspection notice so the owners are aware of what is required.

“Mr. Steenberge is an earnest public servant, very professional in bearing, and is committed to carrying out the board’s directive to assure apartment buildings meet state and local code requirements.”

Saranac Lake’s Community Development Director Jeremy Evans oversees the code officer and said rental inspections are a top priority.

“And we will commit the required resources to carry it out and assure code-compliant multi-family dwellings in Saranac Lake.”

TENANT RESPONSIBILITIES

Rental housing is about 52 percent of all units in the village, according to recent inventory data from the Community Development Office.

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