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Summary of May 20th Meeting

posted Jun 10, 2011, 7:45 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination
Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: May 20, 2011

Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting was convened at 9:40 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organization they were representing.

Mr. DuPont reviewed progress towards improved resource management for the Safety and Buildings Division. He reported on the May 6th meeting with Tom Nardelli, S&B Division Administrator, saying that Mr. Nardelli expressed concern that the Alliance position against lapsing of funds from Safety and Buildings may “wake a sleeping dog”, since there have been no lapses from S&B so far this fiscal year. Bob said that he expressed to Nardelli that the Governor’s Budget Proposal contains lapses from the Department of Safety and Professional Services in each of the next two biennia, thereby drawing the attention of ARC members.

Bob also reported that Mr. Nardelli was open to further communications with the Alliance regarding resource deployment among program areas of the Division, saying that Bob could discuss the subject with the S&B Bureau Directors, keeping Nardelli upraised of the dialogue. Regarding the Alliance idea for possible reorganization of the Division, Mr. Nardelli said that he would not be considering the organizational structure until after the merger with the Department of Regulation and Licensing.

DuPont reviewed action taken by the Joint Finance Committee, on May Third, which recommended deletion of additional lapses from the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Those lapses would have automatically taken any amounts of revenue which exceed 110% of the authorized spending level of certain DSPS programs other than those within the Safety and Buildings and Environmental and Regulatory Services Divisions. The original text on this topic is on pages 374 and 375 of the Budget Bill. The JFC action was contained in Paper 581, alternative two. It passed by a vote of 16 – 0.

DuPont passed along information and recommendations from Jim Boullion, of Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, pertaining to trying to stop lapses now proposed in the Budget Bill. Jim suggested that Alliance members keep this as an issue of concern, but plan on pursuing it after the Department of Safety and Professional Services is completed. There was general agreement that stopping the remaining lapses contained in the Budget Bill is unlikely at this time.

Alliance members next discussed the draft list of member interests relative to Safety and Buildings Division operations, dated May 9, 2011. DuPont asked Alliance members if they thought any of the listed items should be removed from the list. He acknowledged that not all ARC members are likely interested in every item on the list, but asked ARC members to let everyone know if they oppose any item remaining on the list of interests. Bob said this was important because those members who are interested in a topic area may start working on solutions to those issues. He said such work would come back to the entire Alliance membership for review and discussion. There was no opposition expressed relative to items on the list of interests.

Attendees agreed that two additional items should be added to the list of interests; possible adoption of Chapter One and possible adoption of Chapter Seventeen, from the International Building Code, for inclusion in the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code. Those IBC chapters address administration of the code, including topics of plan review, permits and inspections. It was suggested that each IBC chapter be a separate item in the list of interests, but that they be discussed and considered together.

During discussion of these items, Richard Paur said that the lack of Wisconsin administrative rules governing the building inspection process is problematic because certified municipalities are required by Commerce to use an inspection process based on the inspection process used by Commerce. He said that with no codified process for Commerce inspections, municipalities are “placed over a barrel” in this regard. Richard contrasted the lack of Commerce rules regarding the process of building inspection standards to administrative rules contained in Chapter RL 134 of the Department of Regulation and Licensing, which set the standards of practice for home inspectors licensed by DRL. Richard said it would be beneficial to discuss the subjects addressed by Chapters One and Seventeen of the IBC for possible use as a basis for Commerce rules regarding the process for building inspections performed by both municipal inspectors and Commerce inspectors. DuPont said he would revise the list of Alliance Interests Regarding Operations of the Safety and Buildings Division and send it out to members along with the draft meeting report.

DuPont suggested that the Alliance next focus on setting up Hot Issue Teams instead of holding meetings of Program Teams in the foreseeable future. He suggested that several Hot Issue Teams could be set up to address the next three or four areas of most interest to ARC members. There was general agreement with that suggestion. Bob said he would send out an updated spreadsheet of member interests along with the draft meeting report.

DuPont explained that he added three areas of interest related to possible legislation, items 26, 27 and 28 on the draft list. He said these were topics that reflect concerns he has heard from both current and potential members of the Alliance. Related to item number 27, Scott Satula related how some communities have “Enterprise Funds” where the revenue generated by the building inspection program is kept within that program (enterprise) and provisions can be made for the program to operate through periods of slow construction activity.

John Mielke related how the cost of a building inspection program can be designed to get required inspections performed, or to maintain an inspection program in general. He described how communities sometimes compare their service fees to those charged by nearby communities. Tom Johnson said that the South East Wisconsin Building Inspectors Association has developed fee recommendations for Building, HVAC and soil erosion programs at the municipal level.

There was general agreement that fees for inspection services should be set at a level to support the inspection program, and should not be used as a fund source for unrelated activities or programs. There was recognition that often-times the public expects services from inspection programs which are not related to new construction, such as consultations regarding remodeling projects or reacting promptly to emergencies such as vehicles crashing into structures or weather related building damage.

DuPont provided an update on the plaque being considered for commemorating the centennial of the Safety and Buildings Division. Bob reported that he is working with Ron Buchholz, former Deputy Administrator of the Safety and Buildings Division, Tom Nardelli, current S&B Division Administrator, and a volunteer team of past and present S&B employees, to arrange for a centennial commemorative event to be held in late summer. He suggested that presentation of the ARC plaque be made by several members of the Alliance, with all segments of ARC membership represented. There was general agreement regarding the plaque and presentation.

The next meeting of Alliance Membership was scheduled for July 29, 2011, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the headquarters of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Amy Bliss

Wisconsin Housing Alliance

Bill Babcock

American Institute of Architects – Wisconsin Society

Chris Schoenbeck

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dan Gengler

Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

George Ermert

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Jeff Bateman

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

John Mielke

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Kevin Bierce

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Richard Paur

League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Steve Howard

City of Waukesha Fire Department (Guest)

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Wayne Vandenbergh

Structural Engineers Association of Wisconsin

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC


This meeting summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

It was issued on June 10, 2011.