At last night’s commission meeting, the Pierre City Commission took action to change local building code and enact fees for property code and building code violations.
The City of Pierre adopted the 2018 edition of the International I-Codes. The I-Codes are an internationally recognized set of building standards designed to ensure the safety and integrity of new and remodeled structures, as well as other construction projects. Additionally, adopting modern code helps keep property insurance more affordable in Pierre.
Matt Elberson, City Building Official, says that the new I-Codes update language to align with new industry best practices.
“I don’t think there’s anything earthshattering in the updated language, but it is important to keep our laws modern,” said Elberson. “They provide the building standards in our community.”
The International Code Council updates the I-Codes every three years. City staff review the new I-Codes as they are issued and amend the codes to align with local needs.
The city commission also gave city staff another option for dealing with building code and property maintenance violations.
“We’d certainly prefer voluntary compliance,” said Comm. Vona Johnson. “But, when warnings aren’t working, our staff need another avenue to deal with unsafe property.”
That new avenue is a fine structure. People who take on building projects in Pierre without proper licenses can now face a fine; property owners who ignore property maintenance violations will now be subject to fines.
Police Chief Jason Jones thanked the commission for their action.
“I’m hopeful this additional level of property owner accountability will make for quicker resolutions and a safer, cleaner community,” said Chief Jones.
The City handles both building permit and property maintenance violations on a complaint basis.
“Regardless of the violation, I’m confident city staff will work toward voluntary compliance before issuing fines,” said Comm. Johnson.
The new ordinances go into effect on May 1.