Ahoskie announces major change

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

AHOSKIE – Change is coming.

Effective Nov. 10, residents living within Ahoskie’s corporate limits as well as those residing inside the town’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) will notice a change in the form of building inspections as well as obtaining building permits.

On that date, Gary Casper, presently employed by Ahoskie’s Public Works Department, will officially assume the role as the town’s Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer.

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In addition, those needing residential or commercial building permits in Ahoskie and its ETJ must apply for the same at the Ahoskie Town Hall. Those violating the codes or working without a valid building permit after that date will see a stop order written on the work, fined $250 and advised to apply for the permit.

“Up until this point, the Hertford County Building Inspector was handling all of this work,” Tony Hammond, Ahoskie Town Manager, said. “We saw a need to handle this internally.”

Hammond said not all new additions or renovation work performed on a private residence requires a permit. He referenced the North Carolina Building Code (under which Ahoskie operates) that states the following:

“No permit issued shall be required for any construction, installation, repair, replacement or alteration costing $5,000 or less in any single family residence or farm building, unless the work involves the addition, repair or replacement of load bearing structures; the addition (excluding replacement of same size and capacity) or change in the design of plumbing; the addition, replacement or change in the design of heating, air conditioning or electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment; or the addition of roofing (excluding the replacement of like grade of fire resistant).

Hammond said to avoid a fine, town or ETJ residents in the process of making additions or repairs to their residences can stop by the Town Hall to inquire if a permit is needed.

Casper’s new duties also include the inspection of commercial buildings (those up to 7,500 square feet). He will also be involved in the planning and review process, condemnations and minimum housing codes.

He has an extensive background in electrical engineering and is currently in the process of becoming certified in other areas of construction. Hammond said Casper has up to 24 months to complete those additional studies.

Casper, in his duties, will follow an inspection checklist that covers electrical, plumbing, mechanical and structural. He will also ensure that all work meets state and national building codes.