The West Virginia Fire Commission has responded to Clarksburg Mayor Cathy Goings in a letter dated July 11 following complaints that the city's code enforcement office had told residents it was unable to grant building permits.
Following a cease and desist order issued from the West Virginia Fire Commission by its legal representation, the Attorney General's Office, the city of Clarksburg informed citizens seeking building permits that it was unable to issue them due to the actions of the State Fire Commission, according to the letter. The State Fire Commission asserts that those claims are not true.
The Fire Commission reminds the city that municipalities are empowered to issue permits for building and construction separate from the building code issue in the initial complaint filed by the commission.
City Attorney Greg Morgan said, "All building codes in West Virginia have to follow the states codes, that are approved by the State Fire Marshall. We have done that over the years and adopted the new codes as they have come out. The Fire Marshall's office seems to have some problems with some of the older ordinances we have that predated their involvement in that process because there responsibilities started in 2006. We are in the process of reviewing those."
Morgan also added the city doesn't think they did anything improper, but if they can resolve the issue by reviewing older ordinances that is their intention.
A hearing examiner has been appointed in the case although a date for the hearing has not been set.