Last week the Plymouth Common Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Plymouth School Building Trades Program. 

City Attorney Sean Surrisi and Building Inspector Dennis Manuwal explained the MOU. 

Surrisi explained the proposal as a way to engage with the Building Trades program and streamline the process which would allow them to do rehabilitation work on existing homes within the city limits.

The building inspector said, “I see a need in our city for fixing up some older homes.”  He said, “I started my construction career doing remodels on turn-of-the-century homes and I think that is beneficial for young kids to learn how to work on a house that is not necessarily square.”  He said when you are building a new home everything is nice and neat but working in older homes is something that will benefit the kids their entire life. 

Manuwal spoke with Allie Shook from the Livelong Learning Network and met with her and Dan Demotte who heads up the Building Trades class last week to look at a home in need.  The elderly couple needs a handicap ramp.

Surrisi said that since the City Building Inspector and the Building Trades teacher will be working with students on these smaller projects the city would waive all building permit fees.  While they will provide an application for a paper trail there won’t be a fee for the work.

Councilman Greg Compton asked how it would be decided who would qualify for the assistance program. He wanted to know if it would be advertised or a referral program. 

Manuwal said it will only be for homeowners living in their homes where the building inspector may see something that needs to be addressed to avoid a fine or penalty and then work with the building trades program to see if they could handle the issue. 

Councilman Don Ecker asked, “While the labor will be part of the program at no cost to the homeowner, what about material costs?”  

The building inspector said the material cost would be through the school or homeowner or a combination of both.    

Surrisi said each case will be situational.

The Plymouth Common Council approved the MOU with the Plymouth Schools.