Elevator inspection compliance drops in Utica as codes transition continues

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - State law requires that elevators be inspected every six months by a qualified elevator inspector.

At the Adirondack Bank Building in Utica, inspections happen every month, but no one at the city level seems to care.

"No one has ever asked for them, but I certainly have them here," says Joannie Grande, of the Adirondack Bank Building.

According to the New York State Comptroller's Office, the city fire department is the monitoring agency for elevator inspections in the city's nearly 2,300 commercial buildings.

However, the city fire chief says that, since oversight of the codes department was removed from the fire department and a codes commissioner appointed, it's unclear who is responsible for tracking elevator inspections.

"It's a codes issue," said Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks."There was a transition in the leadership in the codes department and basically it brought the process of coming into compliance to a halt. There's a transition period."

An audit of Utica's elevator inspections revealed that, of 62 elevators examined in 39 buildings throughout the city, only 16 had been inspected in accordance with state law, for a compliance level of only 25%.

City Codes Commissioner Robert Palmieri has called a meeting at city hall Wednesday morning to determine who is responsible for monitoring elevator inspections in city buildings, therefore ensuring the safety of the people who use them.

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