2015 has been a year of recovery for many communities. As the economy has steadily improved, leaders in local governments have moved from survival mode to planning for a more predictable future.
When a building is being constructed or modified, or an addition to an existing building is constructed within a community, municipal plan examiners will review the construction documents prior to issuing a permit. Building inspectors will visit the site at various times to ensure contractors are producing a safe and durable structure; adhering to the approved documents.
Keeping up with changes in state laws can be a full time job for municipal employees. The experts in HR Green, Inc.’s Governmental Services Business Line review and keep up with the changes in Building Codes and Code Enforcement. Unlike standard Building Codes, the Illinois Plumbing Code, the Illinois Energy Conservation Code and the Illinois Accessibility Code are all state mandated codes. HR Green urges leaders to take note of some very important changes.
In the coming year, the IECC is due to be updated and the IAC is overdue to be updated as well. HR Green, Inc.’s Government Services professionals review and keep up with the changes in Building Codes and Code Enforcement. The Illinois Energy Conservation Code and the Illinois Accessibility Code are state mandated codes and HR Green urges leaders to stay informed of important changes.
The 2014 U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database found that there are more than 2,000 fewer structurally deficient structures than there were in 2013. However, that means more than 61,000 structurally deficient bridges are still in need of significant repair.
Many industries have some level of wastewater pretreatment before discharging to the local Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW). In the food and beverage industry, pretreatment with Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) is common to remove fats, oils and greases, along with associated Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). These food and beverage companies are in the business of making their products, not wastewater treatment. So, often times, selecting the right piece of equipment can be a challenge.
Reducing staffing levels has been a common theme in local governments generally, and certainly in public works departments specifically, during the past 5-10 years. Even at public works departments where staffing levels have remained constant, infrastructure, and infrastructure maintenance requirements likely have increased.
In a non-descript municipal office hundreds of building plans sit atop, under and around a small desk gathering dust, stacks of files, bound copies and boxes full of loose papers are stacked where a chair should be located. The recently retired building commissioner saved everything. However, he’s gone now and the reality of his “filing system” became a cumbersome challenge the city had to deal with.
In the world of commercial development the name of the game is to accelerate the return on investment. However, in today’s highly competitive environment there is more to development than just getting plans approved, bids let and construction started. Branding is now a major consideration for businesses, creating a welcoming experience for customers with solutions that are functional and achieving these goals within a limited area while adhering to local ordinances is always a challenge.
In many communities, the urban environment and human intervention have impacted our natural streams and rivers. Impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots and buildings take away areas where rainfall would normally be slowed down, spread out and soaked into the ground. Further exacerbating the problem, streams in urban areas are often straightened or channelized to make more room for development.