LONG BEACH, N.Y. - In the wake of the recent catastrophic deadly building collapse in Surfside, Florida, a lawmaker who represents part of Long Island's south shore wants inspections of high-rise buildings in coastal communities to be mandatory.
"Right now to have nothing in place, we think is irresponsible," state Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. "It should not be a random occurrence to have trained professionals look at the structural integrity of a high-rise building, especially one that's decades and decades old."
Kaminsky is calling on New York's Code Council to revise its guidelines on inspections.
He and other elected officials who represent communities along the coastline from Coney Island to Nassau County have been fielding calls from constituents wondering if the buildings they're living in are safe. Long Beach, which is in his district, has more than 40 high-rise buildings alone.
"What happens when salt gets on steel? It rusts," engineer Jordan Ruzz said. "When steel rusts, it expands."
Under the current rules, an inspection of a building's structural integrity isn't required unless major work is being done.
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But people we spoke with hope this soon changes.
"It needs to be done," said one person. "There should be inspections on a routine basis."
"You can't put a price tag on adults, children," said another. "It's tragic."
New York's Department of State can adopt a new rule in the code in a matter of weeks or months and doesn't require the legislature to come back into session. If a building fails to comply, violations would be issued. Then if necessary, the building owner could be brought to court.
"I think good government means putting the traffic light on the corner before the accident, not after," Kaminsky said. "We shouldn't have a building collapse here in order to change the code."