The Village of Mineola will be going back to a model of one official contractor for electrical inspections in order to streamline what was becoming an overly complicated process.
“We now have people that are calling us, that are calling certain electrical companies, if someone shows up at their house and the appointments haven’t been made or confirmed,” building superintendent Dan Whalen said during the January 9 meeting of the village board at the village hall. “We also have some level of liability in relation to putting these people into other people’s homes.”
The village put out a request for proposal for a qualified third party to perform electrical inspections on behalf of the village. Historically, one organization conducted the inspections for the now-defunct New York Board of Fire Underwriters for close to a century, with a second company – Electrical Inspectors, Inc. – entering the field in the 1990’s to do inspections on Long Island. A subsequent monopoly suit was brought up, with the ruling coming against the companies and several firms formed as part of the breakup.
When the New York Board of Fire Underwriters went out of business, approximately six new businesses taking over inspections, some of which are operated by former employees of the board
“At that time they came to the village and asked to do inspections here,” Whalen said, noting a vetting process was held in terms of qualifications and responsibilities, leading to as many as five companies operating inside the village. In 2012 the village increased the number of inspectors and is now going back to one firm only.
New York State does not allow the building department to conduct electrical inspections by itself.
“They insist that it’s a third-party agency,” Whalen said. “To avoid any further confusion in relation to it a streamlining operation and to have a better control on it, it had been discussed about bringing on a particular organization as another arm of the building department and as a vendor for us and through us.”
A total of 6 different companies bid for the right to conduct inspection in the village, with the contract being awarded to East Meadow-based Electrical Inspectors, Inc., which has been in operation for 20 years and has the ability to conduct residential, commercial, weekend and special work.
“They’re going to be coming directly through us,” Whalen said.
The appointment and contract is up for renewal biannually with a new bid process every two years.
“Any of the other vendors can come back and reapply to do it as well as can this organization,” Whalen said.