• Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

Goshen City Council streamlines contractor license application process

ByDeborah C. Lowery

May 17, 2022

May 17 – GOSHEN – The process of obtaining an electrical or mechanical license from the City of Goshen will be much faster following action by the Goshen City Council on Monday evening.

At the meeting, council members approved a new ordinance that changes the city’s current policy on Goshen electrical or mechanical license applications by removing the requirement that such applications be finalized by the Board of Public Works and Goshen security.

“Mr. Richard Aguirre, our clerk-treasurer, brought this idea to me,” Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said in presenting the ordinance on Monday. “We’ve had more of these licenses coming due to the amount of work that’s out there right now. So the board has always approved these licenses, and the staff is doing all the research to make sure everything is correct.

“We’re trying to speed things up so that our municipal staff can sign them – that will be our building commissioner – and that will just help the process, and keep something that always comes to council from works that we never turn down, because ‘They only come to us if they meet all the standards,” he added. “So that will just keep something off the board’s agenda.”

Aguirre said the idea for the change came to him while exploring various opportunities to improve the city’s efficiency.

Under current city policy, electrical and mechanical contractors are regulated through inspections and enforcement of building codes. Contractors operating in the city are also required to prove their skills and qualifications by obtaining a license to carry out such work in the city, Aguirre explained.

As such, contractors must register with the city and renew their registrations every three years, and the city’s building commissioner assesses applicants’ qualifications and then makes recommendations to the works board to approve these. licenses.

“Ordinance 5120 would change this procedure in a small but important way that will improve the City of Goshen’s operations and efficiency while serving the public better and faster,” Aguirre told council Monday. “Applicants will continue to register and apply for licenses from the Building Department, and provide proof of the required qualifications. … They will still pay a license fee, the Building Commissioner will still assess the qualifications, but instead of go to works council, the building commissioner will approve licenses based on verifications of submitted information.

“Thus, the building commissioner and his staff will not have to prepare a report to council for each applicant with supporting documents, the information will not have to be transmitted to the clerk-treasurer and put on the agenda of the board, and license applications will not be submitted to the board for review and approval and will not be recorded in the minutes,” he added of the change. “It will save everyone time.”

As a side note, Aguirre explained that if an applicant has their application denied by the Building Commissioner, the applicant will still have the option to appeal that decision to the Works Board under the new ordinance.

When asked his opinion on the proposed change, Goshen Building Commissioner Myron Grise said he was in full agreement.

“I’m in favor of it because technically it was already approved by me before I even submitted it to the works committee,” Grise said. “So I mean, really, going to the working committee was just a process and a procedure that only served to back it up, but we already pretty much realized who was capable and who wasn’t. not.”

Mayor Stutsman agreed, noting that in the seven years he served on the Works Board, he could not recall the board ever refusing an application for a license presented to him.

“I really like the idea of ​​better service to the public,” Council Member Gilberto Pérez Jr., D-District 5, added of the proposed change ahead of Monday’s vote. “I mean, if we can get contractors and their workers licensed faster, with the commissioner just doing the process, that makes a lot of sense to me.”

The rest of the council members agreed, and the new ordinance was unanimously approved at first and second readings.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 240315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN.

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