Welsh officials to end agreement with Police Jury, hire own building-inspection group

Published 10:50 am Friday, September 8, 2023

Officials here agreed Tuesday to terminate its agreement with the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury and hire its own building-inspection group to check all new construction and renovation projects within the town limits.

The Welsh Board of Aldermen also introduced an ordinance to implement updated building codes. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 3.

Under the plans, Building Code Inspection Services of Carencro, owned by Rodney Richard, will do the inspections mandated under the state building codes.

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Richard, who is a state certified building inspector, has been doing structural, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and condemnation inspections for residential and commercial structures in the town under the agreement with the Police Jury since after Hurricane Rita, according to Mayor Karl Arceneaux.

“After Hurricane Rita, everything changed and it was just easier for us to piggyback with the parish,” he said. “We couldn’t afford our own building inspector.”

Officials agreed this week to terminate that agreement with the Police Jury on Dec. 31, 2023.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Building Code Inspection Services will be in charge of inspecting all building permits to ensure that they conform with all current building, fire and safety codes.

Richard’s company will get 75 percent of the permit fees applicable to each project, including home additions and remodeling. The town will collect 25 percent of the fees which will be deposited into the general fund.

“We will start collecting the fees here in January instead of the parish,” Arceneaux said. “If we don’t have anything going on, it won’t cost us anything. We only had one (new) home this year, so we are not looking at a whole lot of money.”

The company will do structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical inspections for residential and commercial structures.

New homes and commercial structures will have to be able to withstand winds at speeds established by wind zone standards set for the town. Renovations must also meet certain standards.

Permits are also required for new roofs, painting, installation of generators and for new air conditioning systems.