Delphi mayor plans to enforce building ordinance

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - The city of Delphi has had a building ordinance on the books for 24 years, but it has rarely been enforced. WLFI/File Photo
DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - The city of Delphi has had a building ordinance on the books for 24 years, but it has rarely been enforced. WLFI/File Photo

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) – The city of Delphi has had a building ordinance on the books for 24 years, but it has rarely been enforced.

In 1992, the city passed an ordinance adopting the Indiana Administrative Code on Building Regulations. It addresses building safety including electrical, mechanical and plumbing codes.

While a building commissioner is in charge of inspecting buildings, the ordinance has rarely been enforced in the past two-and-a-half decades.

Delphi Mayor Shane Evans said he wants to change that.

“It’s there to benefit the public, I mean, it’s there for health and safety,” Evans said. “It’s there to make sure the investment you make in your property is going to be a sound investment. I think anybody comes into a community and assumes there’s building regulations that have been in place.”

Evans said he believes the code could be modernized, but he would like to see the ordinance enforced once again.

“We wanna make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned that we parse through the language of the ordinance and make sure that it meets our needs,” Evans said.

But some Delphi City Council members want to see the ordinance repealed.

Councilman at-large Michael Shockley has some concerns.

“Is the inspector qualified to do electrical? To do water? To do sewer?” Shockley asked.

One of his concerns: making sure inspections are done right the first time.

“I just don’t wanna see us go down a road where it’s going to cost a lot of people a lot of money to live here and to build here and that kind of stuff,” Shockley said.

In a letter to the city council, Evans said if an ordinance is passed to repeal the original building ordinance, he will veto it.

“This building code, well, we will be divided. But I hope somewhere along the line we can all come together and say, ‘Wait a minute, it’s for the better of the city.’ And we’ll go from there,” said Shockley.

Evans added, “Have faith that city council and I will be able to sit down and reach some middle ground on this.”

The topic will be up for discussion at the next city council meeting on Nov. 7.