Gratiot County SESC Compliance and Enforcement Procedures

Once a Permit is issued

 

1.         Bond Requirements
The permit holder may be required to post a cash bond or surety bond only if the applicant has been permitted before and did not timely pay his fees, or if there is reason to believe, either because of prior permit enforcement with respect to the applicant, or the type of project that is being initiated, that it is likely that the County will expend funds in enforcement.

a.                   If the bond is required because of prior nonpayment of fees, the bond should be in the amount of the estimated total of permits and inspection fees.

b.                   If the bond is because of anticipated enforcement action, the bond should be in an amount estimated to be sufficient to cover said enforcement.

 

2.                   Billing Procedures
Fees and the billing procedure should be explained in writing and given to the applicant at the time the permit is issued.  After initial payment by the applicant, bills for subsequent inspections are to go out on the fifth of the month.  Again, these bills shall include a written fee schedule and an outline of the billing procedure.  These bills should indicate that if they are not paid by the 28th of the month, a late fee will be added.

a.                   If bill is not paid by the 28th of the month, a telephone call shall be made and noted in the file within twenty-four hours explaining that the late fee has been added, and that the applicant will have one more month to pay or risk a civil infraction citation or a small claims action.

b.                   The bill that is sent out the fifth of the next month after the nonpayment shall indicate that if that bill, including a late fee, is not paid by the 28th of that month, the County will either immediately issue a civil infraction citation for nonpayment or take the applicant to small claims to recover the amount due.

c.                   If the bill and the late fee are not paid by the 28th, the enforcement officer should move immediately to either issue a civil infraction citation or take the applicant to small claims court.  A decision on which of the two options to choose shall be based on the enforcement officer’s estimate as  to which alternative will provide the most chance of collection in the quickest amount of time at the least expense.

 

Notice(s) Regarding Billing

 

1.                   All late notices sent out if a bill is not paid by the 28th of the month, shall be sent both to the contractor, if applicable, and the land owner.

2.                   Any telephone call to be made due to failure to pay when billed, shall go to the contractor, if applicable, and to the landowner, and shall be noted in the file.

 

 

Violation of Permit Requirements

 

1.                   Immediately upon being made aware of a violation (within twenty-four hours, if possible) a telephone call shall be placed to the contractor and the landowner detailing the violation and the measures necessary to correct it.  This telephone conversation shall be noted in the file.

2.                   In addition to the telephone call, within twenty-four hours of being aware of a violation, a letter shall be sent to both the contractor and the landowner by certified mail, return receipt requested, describing the violations and the corrections necessary to bring the project into compliance.  This letter shall also indicate within it, the amount of time granted to bring the project into compliance.

3.                   The enforcement agent shall, within forty-eight hours of the deadline contained in the above described notice, enter onto the subject premises to inspect same.  If the inspection reveals that the project is back in compliance, notice shall be forwarded to the contractor and the landowner in writing, sent by regular first class mail, indicating that the problem has been corrected.

4.                   If the inspection reveals that the contractor and/or the land owner have taken action to correct the problem, however, because of circumstances beyond their control, they could not complete those actions with the original time allotted, an extension may be granted.  This extension must be in writing and sent by regular first class mail to the contractor and the land owner.  The extension must clearly indicate the cutoff date for compliance.

5.                   If the inspection reveals that the violation has not been corrected, and there is no justification or legitimate reason for the failure to correct said violation, the enforcement agent shall, in his or her discretion, issue a stop work order or revoke of the permit. Both the stop work order and the revocation shall be, if at all possible, personally delivered to the contractor and the owner of the property.  If this is not possible, said documents shall be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.

6.                   In either case of a continuing violation, after inspection without justification, the enforcement agent shall formulate a written report, and issue a civil infraction citation to the land owner.

 

Violations of Permit, Part 91 or Ordinance Resulting in Imminent Safety Hazards

 

1.                   If the violation of the permit, ordinance or Part 91 creates, in the mind of the enforcement agent, an imminent safety hazard, the enforcement agent shall, instead of the procedures detailed above, notify the contractor and the land owner via letter sent certified mail, return receipt requested, of the violation must be corrected within five days, and failing that, the County will correct the violations and bill the land owner for said corrections.

2.                   The site shall be inspected as soon after the five days as is practical.

3.                   If the inspection reveals that the violations have been corrected, written notice of same shall be sent to the land owner and the contractor.

 

4.                   If the inspection reveals that the violations have not been corrected, the enforcement agent shall immediately retain the services of a contractor, designated as qualified by the Permits Office, to correct the violation.

5.                   If the cost of correction will exceed $10,000.00, prior to the County taking the steps necessary to correct the problem, the land owner and contractor must be notified in writing of an additional ten days to correct the problem, and failing that, the County will correct the problem and recover its expenses from the landowner.

6.                   The Permits office shall endeavor to compile a list of qualified contractors to perform this work.  This list shall be in alphabetical order.  As it becomes necessary to retain the services of one of these contractors, the enforcement agent shall use the next contractor on the list in alphabetical order, such that each of the qualified contractors will be used approximately at the same frequency.

7.                   Until the Permits office compiles such a list of contractors, the enforcement agent may use the drain commissioner’s list of contractors, provided they are qualified to do the specific enforcement work necessary.

 

Civil Infractions

 

1.         When it becomes necessary to issue a civil infraction, the enforcement agent shall draw up a written report detailing his or her findings that would support the violation.  The agent shall, in addition, complete a civil infraction citation citing specifically the violation.  This citation should notify the land owner that he/she must appear in District Court within ten days in order to plead responsible or not responsible.

2.         Prior to serving the citation on the land owner, the enforcement agent shall, if the violation is of State law, present the citation to the Gratiot County Prosecutor’s office for its approval.  If the citation is written pursuant to Gratiot County’s SESC Ordinance, it shall be presented to the County attorney for his approval.

3.         Once approved as indicated above, the citation shall be served on the land owner with a copy sent immediately to the 65thDistrict Court in Ithaca, MI.

4.         The Prosecutor or the County attorney, whichever is applicable will be notified by the District Court if the respondent is contesting the citation