AVON PARK — The City Council discussed recently the updating of the residential rental inspections ordinance including the annual inspection fee, which will likely be close to the $37.50 the city previously charged.

City Attorney Gerald Buhr said he based Avon Park’s draft ordinance on the City of Temple Terrace’s residential rental ordinance, which has been through litigation and survived. So it seemed to be a better program.

The city’s former insurance attorney, Donovan Roper, said he will review it for free, Buhr said.

Mayor Garrett Anderson asked if they would be commenting on the rate structure?

Buhr replied the rate structure is whatever it costs the city and he left that up to the staff to figure that out.

City Manager David Flowers said he didn’t know the methodology of the rate in the past, but the “loaded labor rate” for code enforcement staff, which is handling this now, is about $30 per hour.

Buhr said overhead costs and the cost of the city vehicle can be included.

The city was charging $37.50 for the rental inspection when it passed an inspection ordinance in 2007.

Councilwoman Brenda Gray asked if the costs would be greater now than the $37.50 charged in the past?

Flowers responded, probably slightly more, but it is not going to be $100.

Gray said she had received a few calls about it.

Councilwoman Maria Sutherland asked, after the ordinance is finalized and approved by the City Council, would it go into effect immediately or would the city have to wait six months or a year, occupational licenses usually kick-in in September.

Buhr said a date can be set, for example in September, when everyone has to have their their permits renewed and it can be advertised. If someone starts renting in June it would be for the remaining months as a fraction of the year just like the occupational permits.

Buhr informed the Council Members to send him any questions or recommendations so he could finalize the ordinance before it is reviewed Roper.

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