Rockland County’s New Office of Buildings and Codes to Start Enforcement Feb. 14
By Sarah Morgenstern
Homeowners should be aware that starting Feb. 14, Rockland County will start to enforce fire and building codes for buildings in Spring Valley.
After the state of New York ordered Rockland Country to conduct safety inspections in Spring Valley, the Rockland County Legislature voted 16 to 0, on Feb. 9, to approve the new office’s $1.5 million budget, which is to be paid by fines meted out to violators of buildings codes.
In addition, the legislature named former Suffern village Mayor Edward Markunas, who also is a retired NYPD officer, as the office’s director.
Rockland County’s new Office of Buildings and Codes is authorized to begin its inspections and other work on Monday, Feb. 14: the expiration date of former New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado’s November 2021 directive for the county to assume administration and enforcement of the state’s unform and energy codes.
Many Orthodox Jewish residents of Rockland County sadly view the new Building Codes office as the latest in a long line of actions taken by local legislators who seem to seethe with hostility to Jewish community members, who feel unfairly targeted.
In particular, two local groups who are active in pointing out violations, strangely seem to focus on the violations and incidents that involve Orthodox Jews, an askan said.
At last week’s meeting, the Rockland County Legislature also demanded that the new building codes’ office work together with Spring Valley by employing the village’s inspectors. In addition, Spring Valley is required to grant the county access to the village’s recordkeeping software and to loan the village’s vehicles and equipment to Rockland County inspectors, according to Laura Incalcaterra, the communications Director of the Rockland County Legislature.
“This isn’t something we wanted to be involved in: conducting another municipality’s work,” said Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. “The state of New York has mandated Rockland County Government to take on the task of safety inspections in the Village of Spring Valley and with these votes, we will be able to respond to the order.”
As the county executive’s office has been tasked with overseeing the new Office of Buildings and Codes, the Rockland County’s legislative branch has been working with County Executive Ed Day and his staff to address the many issues and complaints that resulted from the state’s directive for the county to take over the safety inspections in the Spring Valley.
“We have provided everything necessary for the county executive to operate the new Buildings and Codes Office and take care of conducting Spring Valley’s inspections as the state has mandated,” Legislature Minority Leader Lon Hofstein said. “Public safety is always paramount and County government is doing its part to protect the health and safety of residents, businesses and first responders.”