Officials move to start fire inspections

Robert Smith

The Pawhuska City Council on Dec. 11 gave approval for City Manager Larry Eulert to begin a process that will lead to the city taking over from the state Fire Marshal’s office the responsibility for conducting fire-related building inspections concerning life and safety issues.

The state Fire Marshal’s office has been conducting such inspections for the city of Pawhuska, and the city has not had authority. This arrangement has caused delays for people starting new businesses in the city.

Eulert on Dec. 14 told the Journal-Capital that he had already started the process. He said he had contacted personnel in nearby communities about visiting Pawhuska to provide training. In addition to that training, Eulert said Pawhuska employees will be sent to appropriate schools for instruction.

Pawhuska’s employees will initially conduct inspections under the tutelage of personnel from other communities, and will eventually take over the inspection responsibility on their own, Eulert said. When the city is ready to fully assume the inspection duties, a letter will be sent to the state Fire Marshal’s office, Eulert said.

The council made its decision at the end of a lengthy discussion, to which local architect Frank Lorenzo contributed. Lorenzo advocated for the start of a process that would result in the creation of a municipal planning department.