Gluckstadt board split on inspections

Gluckstadt board split on inspections


GLUCKSTADT — An ordinance requiring residential inspections here failed because the mayor says the city isn’t prepared for the volume of work.

Alderman Lisa Williams presented the ordinance during the Jan. 11 board meeting and said it has been a work in progress since September 2022 and said Gluckstadt is the only city in the metro area that does not have an inspection ordinance. 

Williams made a motion to pass the ordinance, and Alderman Mia Bates seconded the motion. Alderman Wesley Slay abstained. Aldermen Jayce Powell and John Taylor voted against the ordinance.

Mayor Walter Morrison did not vote to break the tie, and the ordinance failed. 

Morrison said even though he as the mayor can be the tiebreaker if a board vote is tied, he decided not to vote since he believes Gluckstadt does not currently have the manpower required to properly enforce the ordinance. 

“This ordinance would require us to identify every rental property, and every owner of those properties would be required to make a rental application to the city and get a rental permit,” Morrison said. “To get that permit, the city has to go in and inspect the property and decide it meets certain criteria, and every time there’s a new property tenant, the inspection would need to happen again.” 

Morrison said he was unsure if now is the time to pass the ordinance and he feels the city is not prepared. 

“There are no issues in regard to rental properties in the city right now,” Morrison said. “In terms of timing, this ordinance would require all of these inspections to be done and all of the permits issued by December. The city does not have the manpower to conduct all the inspections and issue all the permits within that time. To do that, we would need to hire a lot of people to inspect it all, and we do not have the budget.” 

“In the grand scheme of things in the city right now, it’s also not a huge priority,” he said. 

Morrison noted that during the Jan. 11 meeting, Aldermen Jayce Powell and John Taylor made the point that homeowners’ associations were already doing a great job regulating rental properties within their subdivisions. 

“I think at some point in time this will be brought up again, but I am not sure when or how the board will vote on it,” he said. 

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