Borough Council is considering switching code enforcement agencies.
Council held a special meeting in January to review the previous two-and-a-half years of experience the borough had working with Centre Region Code Administration.
Some of the issues raised in that meeting included customer service complaints and lack of monthly reporting specific to the borough.
Bellefonte’s agreement with CRCA ends June 30. The borough decided to solicit requests for proposals and received two — one from Keystone Inspection Agency and the other from CRCA.
Each had about 30 minutes Monday to discuss their proposals with council and to answer any questions.
Rick Hampton, owner of Keystone, said his agency does work for other municipalities, such as Howard and Spring townships.
Councilwoman Joanne Tosti-Vasey asked what the customer relation process is at Keystone, bringing up a complaint associated with CRCA that customers are sometimes sitting around waiting for an inspector to show up.
Hampton said he’s “meticulous” about timing, saying that Keystone sets up a date and time for inspection appointments.
Keystone has always had open communication with the public and the people the agency serves, he said.
If anyone has questions, they can call him, Hampton said. If he can’t answer it over the phone, he’ll be out to the property to check in person.
Hampton also said he’s only had to write six violations in about 30 years, adding that he tries to explain to people the rhyme and reason of why he asks them to do something.
Walt Schneider, CRCA director, said the agency’s No. 1 job is to protect the safety of residents and visitors. Coming right behind that, he said, is protecting structures.
He said CRCA provides the ability to put some of the best trained officials on Bellefonte’s projects.
By partnering with six other communities, Bellefonte will have more success with safety at a lower cost, said Jim Steff, executive director of the Centre Region Council of Governments.
Councilman Doug Johnson asked whether CRCA would do monthly reports specific to what inspections happened in Bellefonte.
CRCA provides information for the seven collective municipalities the agency serves, Steff said. If Bellefonte wants additional information, there can be an added fee or borough staff can have access to the records to figure out Bellefonte’s specific monthly numbers.
Both agencies are user-fee driven.
Council voted to table a decision on which agency to choose until municipal references and sample monthly reports can be provided by each. A decision is expected at council’s May 1 meeting.
In other business
▪ Some ducks in Talleyrand Park have tested positive for a low pathogenicity avian influenza. Council approved a motion to put signs up in the park to advise residents not to feed the ducks.
▪ Tosti-Vasey reported to council that a police contract was signed earlier in the evening and that police officers will receive a retroactive increase in pay back to January.