Tag: 010616

If You Build It, Will They Inspect It?

Home improvement and building projects in La Porte City should become a little easier to accomplish in 2016, thanks to action taken by the City Council on December 28, during their final meeting of 2015. In a move designed to streamline the building permit process, the Council adopted two ordinances that help redefine the City’s building code. These changes are expected to make a significant impact on building permit requirements in La Porte City.
Explaining the reasoning for the building permit review, Mayor David Neil said, “After reviewing the permit and inspection data from 2014, it became obvious to the Council and myself that the city was requiring permits that were not needed. After reviewing how other cities our size handled building permits and inspections, it was decided to make a change.”
To be sure, the issuing of permits and the inspections that accompany them is an effort not to be taken lightly. City officials began the revision of the Building Code and procedures related to permits and inspections with several goals in mind:

Permits should be required for the projects that matter, those critical to insure public safety.
From beginning to end, the process should be convenient and streamlined for permit holders.
Where possible, red tape should be reduced or eliminated, including permit requirements for projects that are more about repairs and less about making significant changes to an existing structure.
The City needs to provide oversight and follow-up that will ensure a greater number of building projects in La Porte City receive and pass a final inspection.

It should be noted that the actual building code used by the City, the 2006 edition of the International Building Code, will not be affected or changed by the ordinances passed by the Council last month. Rather than rewrite the code, the ordinances simply identify work the City now considers exempt from permit requirements.
Previously, La Porte City issued separate building permits in four main areas- Building, Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical. Inspections were conducted by the City of Waterloo, in accordance with a 28E agreement that was in place with the City of La Porte City.
As the City reviewed the requirements for each of the permits it issues, questions began to arise. For example, is it really necessary to require a permit to install a washing machine or sink? In 2015, a $5 permit for each of those jobs was required in La Porte City. Moving forward, those installations, along with several other plumbing-related jobs, will be now exempt from permit requirements.
Another significant change made by the City involves electrical permits, which will now be administered and inspected by the State of Iowa (see sidebar).
As part of the comprehensive building code review, the City has now given both the City Clerk and Deputy Clerk authority to issue and monitor building permits. Previously, permits were only issued during the part-time hours the Building and Zoning Administrator was available.
With the City no longer contracting with Waterloo for inspection services, the City Council has also announced the appointment of Mike Strubel as the City’s building permit inspector, and Sam Weich, who will inspect the work associated with mechanical permits.
As these changes take effect, area residents and contractors with questions or concerns about building permits are encouraged to contact City Hall at 342-3396. Mayor Neil noted that the City will continue to monitor the permit and inspections process, making changes as needed.
“As we go forward, we will continue to review our processes, make any needed changes with an eye on being customer-friendly to the citizens,” he said.
Electrical Permits
In La Porte City, permits and inspections related to electrical work is managed by the State of Iowa. For additional information, including links to take out and pay for permits, logon to: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/electrician/ElectricalPermits/Electrical_Permits.shtml
Building/Mechanical Permits
Permits and inspections related to building and mechanical (furnace, boiler, water heater) work is managed by the City of La Porte City. For additional information, call 342-3396.

Open House Welcomes Hager Insurance Agency at New Location

Hager Insurance Agency is celebrating 25 years of service to the community with an Open House at their new location in the Farmers State Bank building located at 508 U.S. Highway. 218 North in La Porte City. The Open House will be held Friday, January 8 from Noon-3 PM. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
Office hours at the new location are 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and by appointment. For additional information about the Hager Insurance Agency, contact Teresa Hager at 342-2383.

The Progress Review Readers “Share the Season”

The Progress Review’s readers responded to the call to “share the season” in a big way, contributing more than $1,000 in support of Waterloo Honor Flight and Cedar Bend Humane Society during the month of December.
The generous show of support resulted in the donation of several items (pictured at right) on the Humane Society’s online wish list, in addition to a nine-perch cat tower and several pounds of food.
Donations from readers in support of Waterloo Honor Flight exceeded $350, a total that will be sure to increase when additional contributions made through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa are included.

2016 Senior Spotlights: Tim McFarland

Parents’ Name: Chris and Jeff McFarland
Hometown: La Porte City
Birthday: August 11, 1997
Favorite colors: Purple and silver
Favorite TV show: Digimon Fusion
Favorite restaurant: HuHot
Favorite class: Fusion reading
Hobbies/Activities: 4-H, FFA, and showing cattle
What is your most embarrassing moment at Union High School? Meeting teachers
What is your favorite memory from high school? Prom
My biggest pet peeve is: Grammar
Who are the most influential people in your life? My parents and my girlfriend
What will you miss most about high school? Seeing teacher and friends
Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Getting married
What is the best thing about being a senior? Driving to school
Your best advice to underclassmen? Help the underclassmen out.

2016 Senior Spotlights: Carlee Ewoldt

Parents’ Name: Terry Ewoldt and Deb Roettger
Hometown: Dysart
Birthday: March 26, 1998
Favorite color: Turquoise
Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite Movies: The Longest Ride and Forrest Gump
Favorite restaurant: Sakura
Favorite class: Psychology
Hobbies/Activities: 4-H, FFA, and showing cattle
What is your most embarrassing moment at Union High School? I don’t get embarrassed
What is your favorite memory from high school? Showing cattle and hanging out with friends.
My biggest pet peeve is: When people don’t wear enough
clothing.
Who are the most influential people in your life? My parents, my grandpa Dwayne, my nieces, and my nephew
What will you miss most about high school? Absolutely nothing 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I hope with a career and family
What is the best thing about being a senior? That we are about done
What are your post-high school plans? College
Your best advice to underclassmen? Enjoy it while it last, you won’t be young forever.

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