Danville hiring fire inspector to fight blighted properties

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - The City of Danville is set to hire its first fire inspector years as part of the city's blight removal program. 

The city said the inspector will perform routine fire and maintenance code inspections on existing commercial structures throughout the city. 

The goal of these inspections would be to keep structures - especially vacant commercial structures - up to code and prevent them from becoming unsafe and blighted. 

As proposed by the city manager and staff, the position would be temporary and funded out of the capital improvement funds for the blight removal program.

Council members, however, expressed their preference during Tuesday's budget review session that the position be funded directly out of the fire department's budget, and not as part of the blight removal program. 

The fire department budget is scheduled for review at a March 24 budget session, so the position again will be discussed at that time.

On March 4, City Manager Joe King submitted a working draft of a budget that would maintain municipal programs and services at current levels with no increases in real estate, meals and lodging taxes. 

City Council is reviewing the budget draft department by department. Budget review sessions are scheduled each Tuesday night in March. 

A formal version of the budget will be presented to the public in April. Public hearings will follow. Final adoption must take place by June 30.