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Streator begins rental property inspection program

1 permit denied out of 229 notices sent

Streator city staff has sent out 229 notices to every rental property owner with a code violation within the last three years, beginning enforcement of its recently-installed rental property inspection program.

The City Council discussed the steps taken at its Tuesday meeting.

The program requires landlords to register rental units with the city at least every three years. Registered properties are inspected using a two-page checklist made available to landlords on a point-based system to determine if they are hazardous and need re-inspection.

City staff is seeking compliance from non-responders after they sent out notices. City Engineer Jeremy Palm said of the 229 notices sent out, 114 are in compliance with the program and 77 property owners have not responded to the notices.

“We’ve only had to deny one permit,” Palm said. “That was for a vacant property and we told them to call back when they’ve fixed the problem. We’re not trying to catch anyone off guard, we’re giving them a checklist. We want them to fix problems before we get there.”

The second round of registration notices will be sent out Monday, Sept. 23, and Palm expects to have the first round of building inspections finished by Friday, Nov. 1, and the second finished by the end of November. A third round of inspections is expected to be completed by April 2020 and the program will continue until then, when it ends in April 2022.

Amping up Heritage Park

The council also discussed Tuesday improving the electrical service at Heritage Park.

Jammin' at the Clock organizers Toni Pettit and Cinda Bond have asked the council to upgrade electrical services at the park for concerts.

The council is in the process of getting a quote from Bodas Electric to see how much it would cost to improve the output to 40 amps. The electrical service that powers the park currently is tied to a traffic light and Palm said it limits what can be done in the park.

Ready for the count

A Count Committee for the 2020 census is in the process of being formed with Mayor Jimmie Lansford and City Manager David Plyman planning to create the committee out of school principals, church communities and other service organizations to help identify the portions of the community that normally get missed in the census.

“It’s a mistake that you will have to recover from if you don’t get the census numbers right,” Plyman said.

The next City Council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18.

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