Bessemer Township hires enforcement officer
By CHARITY SMITH
RAMSAY – The Bessemer Township board approved the hire of First Choice Safety Training Services to conduct ordinance enforcement during its regular meeting on Monday. Dave Macomber, owner of the company, said he has a great deal of experience working with the federal government on enforcing federal standards.
“Basically, because we contract with other companies, we have kind of an idea what it would take to do this paperwork wise, providing invoices, going out on the job site, taking pictures, providing (the township) with invoices, providing (the township) with the information (it) needs to make the decision,” Macomber said
The city will pay Macomber $36 an hour up to $5,000 a year, for his services. He was one of two applicants for the position. Randall said the other person, although qualified, was asking $45,000 a year for the part-time position. The city had only budgeted the $5,000. Macomber said, in discussions with Randall, it was deter- mined that the ordinances would primarily be enforced from May through October. Randall said some things will be enforced throughout the year, but the majority of the issues involve blight which is seen when “snow is not on the ground.”
He said there are a number of people that have barn animals such as horses and chickens outside of the zoning ordinance. Randall said that is not necessarily blight, but
rather ordinance enforcement. So, those types of things happen throughout the year.
“If we go through all ($5,000), I’d say that is a pretty busy season,” Macomber told the board. Macomber said that he and his wife, Chris, instruct and train local companies on safety. He said his goal for the township is that they will be enforcing the ordinances for the township, and will provide the township with invoices and reports for the time.
Randall said he thinks Macomber will have a soft approach first and then be tough when he has to be.
“If you go in with a gavel or a hammer you get very little done,” said Macomber. “We can present things to the people who have problems or issues with their proper- ties, and give them solutions to get them taken care of.”
Debbie Janczak, township clerk, said she thinks many people don’t even realize there is a problem. She said that many of them probably think this is their house and they can do what they want
“I think a lot of people are unaware, and giving them the heads-up and then the follow-up will be awesome,” Janczak said.
The board heard that utility clerk Kristy Dums has resigned. The board voted to offer the position to former treasurer/utility clerk Lisa Hegbloom, who had been training Dums. However, if
she declines the position, the board gave permission for Randall to post the position.
The board also reviewed conditions for members of the fire department to receive paid EMT training. They are requiring the recipient to serve three years on the township fire department
after the training, maintaing a passing grade in the class, and reimbursing the township if they leave the department or fail the course.