Aldermen look to pass new ordinance on building codes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

VIDALIA, La. &045; Anyone looking to do construction work in Vidalia will likely soon have another step in the process.

Vidalia aldermen prefiled an ordinance Tuesday night that would require a license before the town will grant a building permit. The ordinance is likely to pass next month.

Most municipalities in Louisiana have passed or are looking at similar ordinances, town attorney Jack McLemore said. &uot;These are being adopted all over the state of Louisiana,&uot; he said.

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Right now, there is no license requirement to get a building permit. Anyone doing plumbing work must have a state license, however.

The new ordinance would require one of two licenses:

4If the contract is $7,500 or more, a contractor (or homeowner) would have to have the appropriate state license.

4If the contract is less than $7,500, the contractor would have to take a test administered by the town in order to get a building permit.

McLemore held up for aldermen several of the codes under which licensed contractors work, such as the national electric code, the state plumbing code and the international building code.

&uot;Your more sophisticated contractors all operate under these codes anyway,&uot; he said.

But homeowners doing work on their own property would still have to get a license under the new ordinance, McLemore said.

&uot;We’re going to protect ourselves more and more,&uot; he said.

&uot;It helps protect our homeowners, too,&uot; Mayor Hyram Copeland added.