GODFREY - The Godfrey Village Board of Trustees voted 5-1 to amend its Electrical Code on Tuesday, including the creation of an “electrical inspector” position, registration and permit requirements for major electrical work, and more.

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“The electrical inspector shall have the authority to review, inspect and approve all electrical drawings, specifications, installations and equipment,” according to the ordinance amending the Electrical Code. “The electrical inspector shall have the authority, during reasonable working hours and with reasonable notice, to enter upon any premises or into any building or structure or portion thereof for the purpose of making any inspection of permitted work.”

According to the ordinance, it is now unlawful to do electrical contractor work without being properly registered as an electrical contractor in Godfrey. Those already registered in another municipality will not be required to re-register in Godfrey.

Permits are also now required for all “major electrical work” including the addition of a subpanel, installation of new exterior wiring, permanent installation of a generator, solar panels, and more. Permits are not required for “minor electrical work,” which includes replacement/installation of interior outlets, switches, lamp holders, light fixtures, and more.

Those found in violation of the village’s electrical code will “be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) as defined in 65 ILCS 5/11-37-4.” The ordinance also grants the electrical inspector the authority to issue “stop work” orders to stop electrical work being done on any building, structure, or premises without a valid permit or being done “with an inherent risk to safety.”

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Trustee Rick Lauschke has been critical of the new requirements when they’ve come up in previous board meetings. He has stated previously he feels the new regulations are unnecessary and that they will discourage electrical contractors from doing work in Godfrey while not solving what he sees as the root problem.

“This ordinance doesn’t stop the bad people or electricians doing stuff without a permit or without a license,” Lauschke said. “I don’t know how you’re going to stop that, either.

“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.”

Board members ultimately voted 5-1 to pass the Electric Code amendments, with Lauschke casting the only “no” vote. The board also voted 6-0 to pass a related item essentially updating the village’s Electrical Code to be consistent with the National Electrical Code of 2017.

More information about the Electrical Code changes and previous debate on the topic is available in this related story on Riverbender.com.

A full recording of the Godfrey village Board of Trustees meeting, as well as the Public Safety Committee and Finance Committee meetings, is available at the top of this story, on Riverbender.com/video, or on the Riverbender.com Facebook page.

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