BF works towards obtaining Fire Inspection Ordinance



BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – After recently attempting to obtain a proposed rental housing inspection ordinance, the Village of Bellows Falls is currently working with the state’s regional fire inspection group based in Springfield, to revise the current ordinance in order to obtain a new inspection ordinance.

Bellows Falls Municipal Manager, Scott Pickup, had previously stated that the village is dedicated to making the proper adjustments in order to meet the Vermont Division of Fire Safety’s recommended requirements.

“We are currently working with the state fire inspection group in Springfield, on a draft memorandum of understanding,” Scott Pickup said in a recent interview. “The ordinance changes reflect state concerns about authority and service access. In turn, we are re-drafting the ordinance to reflect these changes.”

The Regional Manager of Springfield’s Vermont Division of Fire Safety, Landon Wheeler, had previously stated that the village of Bellows Falls hasn’t had a memorandum with the state for rental housing inspections in seven years.

Wheeler had also said that the Division of Fire Safety is always working for consistency throughout the state in regards to its building inspectors, and stresses the importance of each municipal partner following the same approach.

Despite some inconsistencies, Wheeler is eager to work with Bellows Falls town officials to help them understand the state ordinance, make the proper adjustments, and create a new agreement.

“The Division of Fire Safety is currently working with Bellows Falls’ officials to receive a new municipal agreement,” Landon Wheeler said in a recent interview. “The original ordinance did not line up with current Division of Fire Safety policies and procedures.

“We are actively working with the ordinance committee to address those items and move forward with the municipal agreement. It is an important distinction that a town ordinance can cover items well outside the scope of a municipal agreement with the Division of Fire Safety.”

The main goal for obtaining the ordinance, from the town’s perspective, is to have the ability to do more inspections locally, and to improve upon the rental housing in the village for both quality of life, and better fire safety.

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