By Steve Plunkett
Plumbers, carpenters and other construction crews may no longer show up early or stay late. Town commissioners in June tightened long-standing rules that limit work to between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
“Construction activity and work in the town shall not be permitted until after 8 o’clock, because the arrival of contractors and subcontractors is not permitted until 8 o’clock. So that’s the distinction. It’s not just work beginning at 8 o’clock, there can be no arrival of workmen before 8 o’clock, and they must all depart by 5 o’clock,” Mayor Scott Morgan said.
The mayor, Town Manager Greg Dunham, Police Chief Edward Allen and staff attorney Trey Nazzaro met in April to brainstorm solutions to recurring problems at work sites. The group looked at expanding the construction site management handbook’s rules to every project that gets a permit, not just new construction; issuing citations to the general contractor instead of offending subcontractors and stopping work when two citations are received; requiring a police escort for any vehicle over 9 tons; and levying an impact fee.
Commissioner Paul Lyons backed creating an impact fee to offset other costs to Gulf Stream.
“We have a lot of heavy equipment coming in here, and I just think we should maybe consider — and I don’t know what other towns do — an impact fee … because it’s an incremental damage to the roads over time,” Lyons said.
Morgan said the most visible and upsetting concern was early arrival of workers.
“Subs come at 7, 6:30 and they don’t start till 8 but they’re there, and it … just rocks the basic enjoyment of living in a neighborhood to have that construction appearance even if they’re not actually working right outside your driveway,” Morgan said.
Town commissioners passed an ordinance June 8 specifying 8 to 5 as the hours of arrival and departure for work crews. They also adopted a resolution making the general contractor responsible for its subcontractors’ obeying those times and requiring a police escort for large trucks.
Nazzaro and Town Attorney John “Skip” Randolph are still investigating creating an impact fee.