Tri-Village News

Handrail, stairway standards

Safety committee plans last look at ordinance


Grandview Heights City Council's safety committee is expected to meet late this week to hold a final review of an ordinance to amend the city's regulations setting standards for handrails and stairways at residences in the city's building code.

The revisions in the legislation would align the city's code with criteria in the state building code.

Ron Ayers, the city's residential building inspector and code enforcement officer, previously said in an interview with ThisWeek the new provisions are "an exact copy" of the standards included in the Ohio Residential Code.

Homeowners with existing handrails and stairways in their residences would need to continue to follow the code's requirement that they be maintained in good condition and be structurally sound.

The new criteria would be applied when permits are requested for new buildings or new front porches or decks.

City Council heard another reading of the ordinance at its meeting Monday, Oct. 1.

Safety committee Chairman Ed Hastie told council he had met a couple of weeks earlier with Ayers and Director of Building and Zoning John Kuss to discuss the legislation.

"I had a bunch of questions about this legislation," Hastie said. "This rule is still a mystery to me.

"I feel like a ton of homes in Grandview will be in violation of the rules," he said. "(Kuss and Ayers) were trying to explain to me some grandfathering rules.

"I think it has the potential to affect more people than we would think," Hastie said.

Also at this week's meeting, council heard the first reading of an ordinance to make supplemental appropriations totaling $315,000 for the current fiscal year.

The major requested supplemental appropriations that include $120,000 for income tax collection fees and refunds; $85,000 to transfer income taxes related to Grandview Yard to the Yard TIF fund; $25,000 for contract labor for temporary help needed since a street department employee resigned; $85,000 to pay income taxes related to Grandview Yard to the debt trustee; $7,000 for pool and parks payroll due to more work hours in 2012; and $9,000 to purchase a snow plow.

The ordinance also includes several reductions totaling about $44,500 for when an actual expenditure was lower than the original appropriation approved in the 2012 budget.

The legislation was assigned to the finance committee.

Mayor Ray DeGraw reported the city no longer will collect appliances containing freon, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, because the person who was qualified to drain such appliances is leaving his business and will not be replaced.

American Electric Power will pick up any refrigerator that works, DeGraw said.

Residents can find information about alternative ways to safety dispose of such appliances at the service department, he said.