Bloomingburg eliminates building inspector job

Posted By on April 19, 2014

Village aims for more control of Lamm's projects

Bloomingburg is replacing its building inspector with an engineering firm. This means it will have more control over the housing development being built by developer Shalom Lamm.JOHN DeSANTO / Times Herald-Record

Published: 2:00 AM - 04/19/14 Last updated: 9:23 AM - 04/19/14

BLOOMINGBURG In its first move aimed at oversight of this village's controversial 396-home Hasidic development and its related projects, the new leadership of Bloomingburg eliminated the position of building inspector. An engineering firm will now inspect the development and the shops that will serve it.

The vote to replace building inspector Michael Grass with Middletown's Fusco Engineering and Land Surveying, which came in front of 50 supportive people at Thursday's Village Board meeting, means more control over the projects of developer Shalom Lamm.

Gerardi specifically mentioned Main Street buildings owned by Lamm where he says work continued despite the fact that Grass issued stop-work orders.

"What gets me is they gutted the building without permits," said Gerardi. "Then he (Grass) puts up a stop-work order and they're working on it the next day. And now they're trying to build apartments. I want everything controlled by one company so they can answer to us. We need control."

Gerardi says the cost to the village of some 400 people should be about the same as it was for Grass although he did not have numbers available Friday. Fusco was just hired to oversee the new $5 million water and sewer plant being built by Lamm to serve his development, so inspecting buildings will be an added duty.

At Thursday night's 15-minute meeting, Gerardi also announced he would seek a $50,000 deposit from Lamm for work on the plant as required by the developer's agreement an announcement greeted by loud applause.

And in another example of change of direction in this one stoplight village, Gerardi will not immediately name anyone to replace longtime Planning Board chairman Russ Wood, who resigned a few weeks before Gerardi took office April 7.

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Bloomingburg eliminates building inspector job

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