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SARATOGA SPRINGS: City inspection guidelines need kinks worked out

Roohan said he fears that apartments he currently rents for $550 to $600 a month could increase in cost with more city guidelines.

Commissioner of Public Works Thomas McTygue said it was futile to debate a state mandate.

"What do you think we do, then, with a mandate handed down from the state? Send it back and tell them we're not interested?" asked McTygue.

The legislation drew criticism from others.

Mark Baker, executive director of Saratoga Springs City Center, said he and the board would not support the legislation, which also deals with operating permits for public gathering places. Furthermore, he said, the City Center has an annual fire inspection, so this new inspection process would not be necessary and potentially costly.

"We're not going to be an advocate of having a fee process for an activity that is already going on annually," he said.

Baker also said that the law, as written at the time of the public hearing, was too vague to allow for any real enforcement.

"The people who are out there trying to enforce this ambiguous law will be coming back to you with problems of law and perception," he said.

Kim said the law that was presented on Jan. 16 was a template for the City Council, and that he was comfortable with refining the fee structure and tweaking other details in upcoming weeks.

Baker disagreed.

"If there is a time to define items in this law, why not do it before?" Baker asked.

"I don't think as a city official I can say 'I'm not going to do this,' " Kim said. He did, however, remove the item from his agenda later in the meeting. Still, Kim said he is planning to ask the City Council in the coming weeks to adopt new regulations to adhere to the new state laws.

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