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Application Period Now Open for Code of Honor Scholarships Recent Apartment Fires Highlight Importance of Fire Codes
Apply Today for Educational Scholarships Madeira Beach Building Department Earns its Keep
Peoria Launches Over-the-Counter Permit/Plan Review Program Colonial Beach Town Official Charged with Trespassing

Application Period Now Open for Code of Honor Scholarships

Code of Honor professional development scholarships help ensure that the International Codes reflect the consensus view of officials at all levels of government by providing funding to Governmental Member Voting Representatives seeking to attend and participate in Public Comment Hearings. For 2014, Code of Honor scholarships will support participation in the Public Comment Hearings held October 1–7. The scholarship application period opened May 5 and will close on July 18.

Applicants must be a Governmental Member Voting Representative, in accordance with Article II Section of the ICC bylaws. Applications must be submitted online. No paper applications will be accepted. Applicants may apply for more than one type of Code of Honor Scholarship in any given cycle; however, only one scholarship per year will be awarded to each award winner.

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Sponsored Scholarships for Children of ICC Governmental Members Now Available

Children of code enforcement agency personnel whose jurisdictional authority is an active ICC Governmental Member have the opportunity to apply for five Sponsored Scholarships: the ICC General Scholarship Fund; the William J. Tangye Scholarship; the J.W. "Bill" Neese Scholarship; the C.D. Howard Scholarship; and the Charlie O'Meilia Scholarship. Children must be dependents as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Typically, this includes birth children, stepchildren, legally adopted children or a legal ward financially supported by the employee. The recipients for these scholarships must be enrolled in a recognized and/or accredited school such as a university, trade school, business college or other as approved by ICC prior to distribution of the award. The recipients are selected by a committee of volunteers.

The 2014 scholarship cycle opens April 28 and closes on June 27. Scholarships will be awarded by August 1.

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Peoria Launches New Over-the-Counter Building Permit/Plan Review Program

Permit users may walk away with a permit in their hands in less than 30 minutes, thanks to a new program the city of Peoria is launching. The city is introducing the Over-The-Counter Plan Review program on Monday, March 17. Through this program, eligible residential building and site development permits may be issued over the counter.

Participants may schedule a 30 minute appointment. Times and availability for site development permits, 3rd review civil plans, residential water and sewer taps are Tuesday’s between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and Wednesdays between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. For third review civil plans, the plan reviewer must consent to over the counter appointment.
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Recent Apartment Fires Highlight Importance of Fire Codes

Investigators in Colorado Springs, Colo., wrapped up their investigation into the cause of an apartment fire while also verifying the building compiled with fire codes. There have been four apartment fires in Colorado Springs and one in Fountain in the past month that displaced residents and injured others. The fire at Shannon Glen Apartments displaced 26 people. Three people had to be rescued from ladders. A spokesperson for Colorado Springs Fire Department said the building's smoke alarms did sound when the fire broke out.

Deputy Fire Marshal Barry Madison with the Colorado Springs Fire Department said the apartment building has followed fire codes during inspections in the past. It was a different story at Cheyenne Vista Apartments after a fire in January. Firefighters found eight different fire code violations during an inspection after the fire. Apartment building safety became a top priority for the Colorado Springs Fire Department in 2007 after a massive fire at Castle West Apartments. It left two people dead and hundreds homeless.
Older apartment buildings that don't meet current fire codes can be grandfathered in. However, those buildings are almost always required to be brought up to current fire codes.
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Madeira Beach Building Department Earns its Keep

The city of Madeira Beach's building department has become a major moneymaker in just a year and a half. The department's revenue-producing status is evident in a passed resolution that increases the budgeted building permit revenue for the current fiscal year by $260,000. Another resolution takes out $15,000 in expenses to run the building department. The $245,000 "surplus" going to the city's general fund is "impressive," according to City Commissioner Terry Lister, especially considering that up until mid-2012, Madeira Beach had no building department. Prior to that, building services had been provided to the city by Treasure Island, for a yearly fee of $160,000.

By gaining control of the building permitting process, Madeira Beach could make a substantial profit, well over $100,000 during periods of heavy construction. The agreement with Treasure Island was terminated and Madeira Beach began a gradual takeover of the building services function. Madeira Beach now provides internal building management services, including a full-time building official and permit technician. A significant portion of the building department revenues going to the general fund will be retained for future building program operating expenses, according to Florida law, helping the department's viability in both lean and boom construction times.
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Colonial Beach Town Official Charged with Trespassing

Colonial Beach (Va.) Code Enforcement Official Teresa Davis was charged with trespassing following a complaint by owner Carl Springer. Davis saw work occurring at the home and approached the contractor who was on the property. State code allows for code officials to investigate possible code violations.

"104.6 Right of entry. Where it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code, or where the building official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a structure or upon a premises a condition which is contrary to or in violation of this code which makes the structure or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous, the building official is authorized to enter the structure or premises at reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed by this code, provided that if such structure or premises be occupied that credentials be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If such structure or premises is unoccupied, the building official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the structure or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the building official shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry."

Council member Wanda Goforth questioned whether or not Davis was within the scope of her job. According to her direct supervisor, Gary Mitchell, Town Manager Val Foulds and Building Inspector Dexter Monroe, Davis was following her job description.
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