FAIRMONT– Fairmont City Council took further steps Monday to implement the city’s rental housing policy. The board has been working on the policy for the past few months.
City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said city staff are working to get everything ready before the rental housing ordinance comes into effect on February 1. She said when the council passed the rental housing code, it asked staff to develop a policy to provide further information on the inspection process and to provide landlords with a right to refuse an inspector. .
She said staff have developed a policy that gives guidance on inspections and states that it will be done by city staff or contractors hired by staff and will be assigned on a rotating basis, although owners have a right of refusal.
The board approved the adoption of the policy.
To accompany the policy, rental registration and inspection fees were also discussed.
“The goal was for it to be a master key. We bill the landlord, landlord, for the fees, and then we turn around and pay those fees to the contractor so the city doesn’t make money on those rental inspections and we don’t lose money,” said Reynolds.
She said they made a request for qualifications and got two responses. A joint meeting was held with those who responded, as well as with the building manager. Reynolds said a lengthy discussion took place and the fee amounts were set.
The board unanimously approved the rate setting.
On that same note, the board approved contracts with the two interested parties, Lily Creek Home Inspections, LLC and Four Diamonds Home Inspections for rental home inspection services.
Council member Randy Lubenow asked if the city is still looking for more rental housing inspectors. Reynolds said her initial goal was three to five inspectors, so she would be willing to have more.
Moving on to other matters, the council also discussed the construction of formal contracted services. Reynolds said the person they assigned to part-time inspections has taken a full-time job in another city and is no longer available.
“I contacted Terry Tonneson, our retired building official, and he agreed to come back and do some part-time work under contract as additional building official services to fill the void,” said Reynolds.
The board approved the contract with Tonneson 4-1 with board member Michele Miller voting no.
On Monday, the council is also considering an owner’s representative contract for the proposed community center. Council first discussed the matter at the November 22 city council meeting.
“At that time, the Board decided and voted to negotiate directly with Tegra for Owner Representation Services and directed staff to move forward with those negations,” said Reynolds.
She said she had several conversations with Tegra and they came up with a recommendation for a two-step contract. The first step is to work with the design team and come up with a schedule and budget.
“They offered to do the first stage at a cost of $90,000 which would be billed at $15,000 per month for six months,” said Reynolds.
The second stage would be from conceptual design to final design and construction of the community center. The second stage would require board approval to proceed. The corresponding costs would be 2% of the guaranteed maximum price.
Reynolds said the contract was handled by the city attorney and also with the community center’s advisory board and staff are recommending the contract be approved.
The board approved the contract 4-1 with board member Wayne Hasek voting no