Councilman Cody J. Horbacz would like to see city firefighters go out and complete commercial building inspections during their downtime when they’re not fighting fires.
He found out on Tuesday night that’s not possible because of a 1993 agreement with the Watertown Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 191 that specifies two firefighters must complete those duties out of the city’s Code Enforcement office.
The councilman has brought up the subject several times over the years, but he requested Tuesday night’s work session to discuss it. Firefighters in the cities of Utica, Oswego and Auburn are involved in conducting the inspections, he said.
In a heated exchange, City Attorney Robert J. Slye asked the councilman why he would want to change things, stressing he’s worked with the codes office for 30 years and “it’s working.”