La Crosse mayor wants to streamline inspections

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La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said he wants to make inspections more efficient.

That’s why the executive committee is proposing that the Fire Department take care of some code enforcement duties.

The Building and Inspections Department handles them now.

“It seems to me you’ve got two departments in essence doing very similar things, lets see you know if we can reduce that duplication,” said Kabat.

Kabat also said there are some situations where the fire department has more authority.

La Crosse Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland said the proposal needs to be discussed, and it’s a discussion he’s willing to have.

“I think in this day and age with shrinking resources with personnel and with dollars, it does not cost the community anything to have this dialogue,” said Cleveland.

Kabat said the proposal will help strengthen neighborhoods.

“This is a very important component of our neighborhood revitalization program, and one of the things we’ve heard loud and clear is code enforcement is a very high priority,” said Kabat.

“The goal has to be what is the change, what is the improvement in our neighborhoods going to be, because if we don’t keep the goal in mind, we can’t improve the process,” said Cleveland.

Over the next 60 days, Kabat said he’ll meet with the Building and Inspections Department and the Fire Department to come up with plan.

Then, recommendations will be made to the Executive Committee.

After those 60 days, Kabat said realistically it will take three to six months to fully implement any changes.

The Executive Committee is also looking at existing ordinances such as one that requires building permits for roofing, windows and siding projects to decide if they should be rescinded or modified.