Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chofetz Chaim passes inspection

UPDATE: (This was yesterday's post) TJN: The town's inspection of a trailer used for a preschool program at a yeshiva construction site yielded a few concerns, but no imminent sign of danger. Three Building Department inspectors visited the Grandview Avenue site, where Mosdos Chofetz Chaim is building a school and apartments for adult students and their children. The developer has been cited by the town for using the trailer without a site plan and certificate of occupancy. Those charges are pending a review by the Zoning Board of Appeals in May. Ramapo's inspection Monday was done to ensure compliance with state building and fire codes, as requested by the Town Board last week. "There are still a number of things we are looking into," Town Attorney Michael Klein said, "but there does not appear that there is any significant safety concerns." Among the findings of the town's inspection were improper interior door locks, a cap placed over electrical work on the ceiling and a septic connection needing approval from the county's Department of Health. Klein said an electronic alarm connection between the trailer and the county's emergency dispatching unit — required by state law — had been approved and received a final inspection by Town Fire Inspector Thomas Buckley. In a letter to Klein yesterday, Rabbi Aryeh Zaks said the electrical cap, referred to in the inspection, was for a connection no longer in use and that it was covered at the town's recommendation. The interior door locks, Zaks said, did not have to be removed because the locks did not function and were merely decorations. Zaks also said he believed no approval of the temporary septic connection was required. He requested that a copy of the code requirement be provided for his review. "I wish to clarify these are mobile classrooms and not permanent structures," Zaks wrote. "The matter of temporary wheeled mobile classrooms having the same zoning and building requirements as a permanent structure is now before the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the list compiled by the Building Department conveniently forgets this important fact." Zaks said he was "appalled" that the town inspectors asked to see a state license for preschools. Zaks told Klein that religious educational facilities do not require any state licensing. The town's inspection comes in the midst of a state investigation on whether the preschool program is operating without a child-care license or registration, required by state law. Brian Marchetti, a spokesman for the state's Office of Children and Family Services, said yesterday that the agency was still reviewing information from a site visit by inspectors last week.
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