By Myrna Trauntvein
As part of the Nephi City building permit process the owner/contractor is delivered a 35-page document that contains Nephi City standards for installing water, sewer, electric and gas services.
The same document outlines the requirements for installing the curb, gutter and sidewalk in front of the new structure.
However, despite the document, contractors do not always follow the letter of the law.
“These standard documents contain a signature line for the owner/contractor to acknowledge that they received the documents and they are responsible for adhering to the standards contained therein,” said Seth Atkinson, city administrator. “Any deviation from those standards is the sole responsibility of the owner/contractor to correct at no cost to the city.”
“I would like to take time to digest this,” said Kent Jones, council member. “I would like to allow time for folks to read about the proposal in the press and then take action.”
He said he would like to table action and put the proposal out to the world.
“It seems only fair,” said Jones.
“We will float the information about the change to the fees and the need for two signatures on the city website,” said Glade Nielson, mayor.
Kyle Marchant, Public Works Director, had called the need for some changes to the attention of the council at a work meeting a week ago.
“When the contractor pulls the building permit, what is expected is listed,” said Skip Worwood, council member.
It is also partly the responsibility of the homeowner to make certain that the requirements are met.
All new sidewalks in Nephi City are required to be inspected by the Nephi streets superintendent in order to verify that the sidewalk meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for sidewalk.
The sidewalks, to meet government standards, must have a cross slope of 2 percent or less.
“It is a federal requirement, but it is left to the cities to enforce,” said Atkinson. “The liability falls back on the city.”
The Nephi City streets superintendent’s contact information is available to the owners/contractors with information stating that they must contact the streets department to schedule an inspection.
“This step needs to be completed before the owner is granted occupancy,” said Atkinson. “Recently this requirement has been disregarded by the owner/contractor.”
In addition to the owner/contractor not calling for inspections on sidewalk, the current blue card/inspection card only requires the building inspector’s signature.
The building inspector is not required to check the sidewalks for ADA compliance and once the building inspector has signed the card, the owner can take possession of the building even if the sidewalk is out of compliance.
“At this point, it now becomes difficult to inform/require the homeowner to replace the sidewalk in front of their home,” said Atkinson. “There is a two step solution to stopping the sidewalk from being installed incorrectly.”
First, the addition of a sidewalk deposit should be added to the building permit fees.
“This would be a refundable deposit, once it is determined that the sidewalk was installed properly,” said Atkinson. “If the sidewalk is installed improperly, then the owner/contractor would have the option of replacing the sidewalk or the city can hire a contractor to replace the sidewalk and use the deposit to pay the expense of replacement.”
Second, the blue card needs to be amended so that there is a signature line for the public works inspector. This will allow the staff at the front desk to look at the blue card and verify immediately that the sidewalk inspection has or has not occurred.
The requirement will now be listed in bold on the new card.
“The nice thing is changing the blue card,” said Nathan Memmott, council member. “That is the best part.”
The blue card needs to be signed off before a home occupancy certificate is issued and signatures of both the Nephi City building inspector and the public works inspector will be required before a certificate of occupancy is granted.
Because of the time that is required to inspect these sidewalks an administrative fee needs to be added to the building permit fees.
“The staff recommends that the council add a sidewalk deposit and administrative fee to the building permit fees and change the certificate of occupancy to have a second signature line for the public works inspector,” said Atkinson.
The council addressed the Master Fee Resolution 09-03-2019 and the Amended Blue Card.
The proposed sidewalk deposit is, using assumptions under the fees for work, that a 10 foot by 50 foot driveway has to be removed and replaced or 50 feet of sidewalk 4 feet wide has to be removed and replaced.
Removing Sidewalk and Driveway Approach: Saw cut 50 foot units at a cost of $4 for a total of $200; backhoe to remove bad concrete for 3 hours unit; $50 for a $150 total; for a dump truck to haul concrete 3 hours unit; $50 for a total of $150; for a 2 man crew, 6 hours unit for $ 75 for a total $ 450; dump fee 2 loads at $100 a unite for a total of $200. The total for all is $1,150. Replacing Sidewalk and Driveway Approach 8.8 yards at $240 for a total of $2,112.
The final total is $3,262. At 110 percent it is $3,588.20 at 125 percent it is $4,077.50.