GODFREY - After much discussion and debate, the Godfrey Village Board of Trustees decided not to vote on an amendment to the village’s Electrical Code which would have established electrical licensing requirements and more. Supporters cited safety concerns, while critics claimed it would discourage electricians from working in Godfrey.
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Under the proposed amendment, any person or company doing electrical work in Godfrey other than “minor electrical repairs” would need to apply for an electrical license first. That person, or a designated individual chosen by an affiliated company, would be required to pass a licensing exam with a grade of 75% or better.
Trustee Jeff Weber criticized the low testing threshold and said it “wouldn’t actually make anything safer.” He noted that this amendment also failed to pass two meetings ago.
“This ordinance doesn’t stop the bad people or electricians doing stuff without a permit or without a license,” Trustee Rick Lauschke said. “I don’t know how you’re going to stop that, either.”
Trustee Craig Lombardi said that while you “can’t control everybody,” and some people are bound to not follow any electrical regulations, he saw this amendment as Godfrey doing its “due diligence” to state that it at least doesn’t condone unlicensed electrical work. Trustee Sarah Woodman said it would also send a message to Godfrey residents.
“I do think something of importance with this is the fact that we would be relaying to the residents of Godfrey that we are intent on their safety,” Woodman said.
The amendment would also establish a six-person Electrical Board. Lauschke said he still feels as he has in past meetings that these new requirements and new board are unnecessary, and that the problem is not electricians.
These rules are not going to be solving our problem,” Lauschke said, adding more licensing doesn’t automatically mean more safety. “Nobody here wants anybody to die. We all want to be safe, but I don’t think your electricians are your problems. I’m going to go to the pool guys and the landscaping people that are trying to do electrical work and they don’t know how to do it right, and they create the problems.”
After a lengthy discussion, no official vote was taken on the item. Village Engineer Rich Beran and Trustee Lauschke will continue talks to work out a potential solution.
A full recording of the Village Board meeting is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
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