Property owners and agents,
My name is Ken Roberts and I am the Director of the Town’s Code Enforcement department. I am writing to notify you all that Myself, Ralph Magill and Kyle Bauman will be conducting rental inspections beginning May the 12th for the 2020-2021 school year and any non-student rentals. I understand there are some uncertainties with current government decisions that have been made and you may be making difficult decisions through the next few weeks. I just wanted to reach out, wish you all the best of luck and touch base with you to let you know that we are available to inspect your units. If you would like to schedule inspections please contact me at 570-784-7123 extension 116 and I will be happy to get you set up. Our Administrative Assistant in the department is currently off, so the 115 extension will until further notice, not get you to a live person.
In conducting inspections whether it be for regulated rental units or for non-student rentals, we will be using the following procedures. There will be no more than one person in the unit with the inspector. Masks are to be worn by both the inspector and any owner or agent that may be accompanying them. Social distancing of at least six feet will be required. Please allow the inspector to open all doors as they have to check them in their inspection and there is no need for two people to contact the same surface. If the unit is empty, without personal belongings, I would recommend allowing the inspector to enter the premises alone and discuss any areas they may find of concern when they exit the dwelling before moving on to the next. We would prefer to inspect all units while empty as it is not only safer for everyone, but it speeds up the inspection process. I believe that if the precautions listed above are followed we can all conduct our business without interruption. A change to this years scheduling! Both Kyle Bauman and myself have agreed to stay as late as six (6) O’clock in the evenings to get inspections completed in a more timely fashion in an attempt to be less disruptive to your schedules. Another change you may notice this season and seasons moving forward is that our prior third party inspector, Mr. Evert has retired and I will be taking his place. Our hopes are to keep all unit inspections to ten or fifteen minutes to once again facilitate you all being delayed as little as possible in leasing your units. For scheduling purposes, depending on travel time between units we are looking to get 40-50 units done per day, per inspector. Some that may have had to schedule for two full days in the past for 40 units or less may save an entire day depending on the circumstances and the availability of staff. If you have more than one agent available to accompany our inspectors, please let us know when scheduling so that if we have multiple staff available we can cut the time of your inspections in half. Please, if you have any troubles with any inspections or inspectors, do not hesitate to contact me immediately. My contact information is listed below. If you have trouble with my inspections or me as an inspector, and you do not find that I have satisfied your concern, please contact the Town Manager Lisa Dooley at extension 123. I ask that you do that only after trying to reach a solution through me.
Applying for rental licenses or renewals. In the past I have found that often payment had not been received per the Town’s Ordinance and I’m sure there were circumstances that surrounded each scenario. I don’t doubt that, but we as a Town have to watch out for our best interests, just as you have to watch out for yours. Moving forward, the fees will be collected at the time of the application as stated in the ordinance section provided at the bottom of this email. If the application is to be received at the start of the inspections, the fees will also accompany the application at that time or no inspections will occur. If you have questions as to the inspection fees, currently $38 per occupant for regulated rental units, please call me. I understand the season may be delayed, interrupted, what have you. Please do your best to schedule as early as possible and as a reminder, your current licenses expire June 30th 2020. If you have someone still in a unit and they are planning on remaining, the unit will need to be inspected and licensed. Renting without a license is a violation of Town ordinances and a citation offense. You may also want to consider contacting the tax office, the sewer authority and the recycling center to check on any outstanding bills you may have with them prior to your need for a license coming due.
Lastly, I would just like to thank you all for your involvement in the Town and your diligence in maintaining your properties to comply with the Town ordinances. The biggest of which tend to be nuisance grass and weeds as well as municipal waste and recyclables being thrown upon the ground. Both are problematic and add to another problem we are starting to deal with and that would be rat infestations. In a few sections of Town this has started to be a real problem and it can be quite costly to have them completely exterminated. Please help us in keeping this problem at bay by supplying your tenants with refuge containers with lids or an adequate sized dumpster where space allows. This is your responsibility as owners. We in the Codes department will greatly appreciate your efforts and it will avoid a great deal of unwanted interaction with us. When we have time we may give notice that a municipal waste violation is present, but an advanced notice is not required and we don’t always have the time or resources to provide one. If any tenant gatherings are to occur when that becomes allowable, I would highly recommend appointing someone to be the keeper of the grounds and ensure they pick up any cups, cans or bottles that may be dropped upon the ground to include the gutter way in front of the curb areas to avoid citations being issued. If you come to us with a problem unit and provide the information needed, we will try to work with you to hold the tenant accountable. If a violation is reported to us by someone other than yourself, the Town Ordinance holds the owner or owners accountable.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with me. I am available by email, landline, cellular phone and if need be text message. I will do my best to respond to you in a timely manner.
Below is information regarding students living off campus for the 2020 Census along with the primary election.
College students should be counted where they would normally be living if school was in session. They can respond online or by phone using their on campus or off campus Bloomsburg addresses. They should not be added to the list of residents at their home address. The following link is an update on this topic and applies to variety of special living conditions which includes students living away from home. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to George Klotz at the State College ACO through [email protected].
If students registered here in Bloomsburg with your campus address and are not going to be here for the rescheduled June 2 primary election, here is some important information regarding absentee and special COVID mail-in voting options. Here is the link: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-and-Absentee-Ballot.aspx.