Aldermen propose change in heating codes

By Donald R. Roth Jr.

If passed, a proposal which is being considered by the DeKalb City Council would allow the heat in the residence halls to be kicked in 15 days sooner in the fall.

Under the current DeKalb municipal code, every owner and operator of any building who rents or leases must supply sufficient heat from Oct. 1 to May 15.

Sixth Ward Alderman James Pennington proposed that the heating code kick in 15 days earlier on Sept. 15.

The DeKalb heating code governs all buildings within city limits and requires buildings to maintain specific temperatures.

The current DeKalb heating code states “every dwelling shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 65 degrees between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m., and not less than 60 degrees during other hours.”

Pennington said he is concerned that there are times of the year (other then those covered by DeKalb ordinance) in which the temperature dips very low.

As a result, people who don’t have control over their heating systems could be adversely affected.

Other DeKalb aldermen agreed. “This is a very positive step. If you live in the residence halls (at NIU) or in apartment complexes and you don’t have the ability to regulate heat, there can be hardships,” 1st Ward Alderman Amy Polzin said.

Rick Monas, Building and Community Services director, said the ordinance would require all residential buildings two stories or above and those containing 13 units or more to receive sufficient heat beginning Sept. 15.

All other rental residential units not covered by this ordinance would be required to receive sufficient heat by Oct. 1.

Proper maintenance of heating units and not burdening DeKalb residents are two important goals of the proposed ordinance, Monas said

The proposed ordinance will be considered again by the city council at their April 6 meeting.