By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – An ordinance calling for the exterior inspection of houses upon transfer passed unanimously at the March 17 City Council meeting, with Carlisle Wortman contracted to perform the inspections.
City Administrator Dustin Lent said in a March 11 memo to the council that the purpose of the ordinance is to help protect the health, welfare and safety of residents through an attempt to eliminate blight, avoid the creation and maintenance of a nuisance, and to insure minimum maintenance standards for houses within the city.
He reiterated that the ordinance will have a positive impact on property values as well as the general well-being of the city’s residents.
Carlisle Wortman’s current contract with the city of Southgate was amended to include the inspection of the exterior of residences at the point of sale.
The contract will run through June 30, 2022, for a $37,680 annual cost.
Carlisle Wortman will also receive 60 percent of the inspection fees, which Lent said has been projected to have a net neutral impact on the city, based on the historic average number of house sales annually in Southgate.
Mayor Joseph Kuspa said this is something new to the city as it relates to administering it, and he noted that Carlisle Wortman has experience doing exterior house inspections in other cities.
“It is a situation where we have not done this as a municipality yet, and we certainly want to have it done by individuals that have the experience in doing it, so it transitions better in our community,” Kuspa said.
“At this point, the staff in our building department would not be in a position to take it on, so that is why we looked outside to see if we could make this work on a basically cost-neutral basis, and this was a great idea to expand our relationship with Carlisle Wortman.”