Wellston Code Enforcement Director/Fire Chief/Zoning Inspector, Ryan Pelletier, recently updated members of Wellston City Council on several goings-on throughout his various departments, including the newly implemented rental-inspection and contractor-permitting programs.

At the top of the list for Pelletier during the May 5 meeting was a thank-you to the voters in the city for supporting the Wellston Fire Department’s (WFD’s) 1-mil, five-year replacement levy, which was approved by a 69-percent margin during the May 3 Primary Election. The proceeds from the levy are used to purchase new equipment for the agency.

In addition to the business inspections currently ongoing in the city, which are being conducted by WFD Assistant Chief Darrel Wright and are not new to Wellston, Pelletier said the new rental-inspection program has likewise kicked off and is proving successful thus far.

“I think we’re at 60-percent compliance based on the information we have,” he stated. “We’ve generated nearly $20,000 in revenue from that program.”

Pelletier added that he is currently performing these rental property inspections himself in order to get a feel for how the program is going, and to allow landlords and tenants to get to know him.

“I’m finding that once the landlords meet me (if they don’t already know me) they’re comfortable once we’re done, and they understand the program,” he explained. “I’ve helped several landlords with potentially bad tenants, and I’ve helped some tenants with uncooperative landlords, so I’m sort of a liaison between the two. I’ve only failed one property so far, so we’re very optimistic about that program.”

In kind, Pelletier said the contractor-permitting legislation Council recently approved is off to a “fantastic” start. He said Columbia Gas, which is undertaking a big project in the city, and a contractor who was recently hired for the upcoming New York Avenue/Broadway Street project, both obtained a contractor’s permit in accordance with the new rules.

“With that comes right-of-way forms that need to be filled out,” he stated. “This all allows us to generate more revenue that we can use to work on our own water and sewer lines. Plus, while these contractors are working in the city, they’re paying our RITA (Regional Income Tax Agency) tax, which is very important.”

City Safety/Service Director Anthony Brenner reiterated the fact that this new program is meant to prevent uninsured contractors from performing work in the city, which, in turn, helps protect residents from potential shoddy work with no recourse to remedy the issue.

Finally, Pelletier also issued a reminder to city residents that the first of four required grass-mowing dates is Monday, May 16.

“Most folks think they have to have their grass cut by Memorial Day – that is incorrect,” he said. “It is two weeks before Memorial Day. Why? Because we want Wellston to look nice for Memorial Day.”

After that May 16 deadline, Pelletier said he would ride around every street in the city and take note of non-compliant properties. Those properties will then be mowed by the Code Enforcement Department’s mowing crew on the property owner’s dime.

The other three dates for grass mowing this year are June 20, July 18, and Aug. 2.