Sullivan: Codes enforcement takes shape

Most people aren't happy to get a visit from him, but Lawrence J. Kinne loves his job. An electrical inspector by trade, Kinne accepted the position of town of Sullivan codes enforcement officer in January.

The day I rode with him, however, a couple of people stopped Kinne to tell him they like what he's doing.

"You're doing a great job," said one Hitchcock point resident. "Things are looking a lot better around here."

"Call the town offices and tell my boss," Kinne said, laughing.

But his boss seems to already know.

"Larry is a people person," said Sullivan Supervisor John M. Becker. "Of all the applicants we interviewed, he seemed to be the most down-to-earth and possessed the most practical knowledge. He's doing a good job, and we are trying to let him do what he was hired to do."

Becker said Kinne works within the guidelines of the law and has worked to revamp the codes department's fee schedule.

"He's doing a good job for the town," Becker said. "We're happy with his performance."

What the job entails

The job, Kinne says encompasses coordinating inspections of new construction, processing permit applications and handling complaints.

"I have to make sure new construction is being completed according to building codes," Kinne said. "I issue building permits and have to inspect each stage of the process footings, foundation, framing, plumbing, insulation and smoke detectors. We have a third party do electrical inspections, and an engineer handles water and septic or sewer."

The position is responsible for protecting residents and the town, Kinne said.

"Hopefully, our efforts will prevent a fire or a building collapse," Kinne said. "Insurance rates keep going up because people keep doing stupid things. Codes enforcement helps keep costs down."

Every building in town has to be inspected every three years, except for single- and double-family dwellings.

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