East Chicago to launch business inspections for health, safety

EAST CHICAGO |Inspections are scheduled to begin this week for a survey of all commercial properties in the city to check on compliance with health and safety standards.

Code enforcement investigators, currently compiling a new database of residences, will be joined by Health Department, Fire Department and Building Department personnel for a close look at city businesses, both inside and out.

“Each and every business will be examined,” Building Commissioner Winna Guzman said to the Board of Public Safety last week.

Beginning on Wednesday with the North Harbor commercial area, inspectors will look at both occupied and vacant businesses, Guzman said, to evaluate the safety of the structures and how they can be improved as part of the city’s comprehensive plan.

Inspectors will notify business owners in advance of the visits, Guzman said, and will examine front and rear yards, garages, sheds, fences and common areas for general appeal and for promoting new business opportunities.

More than 80 derelict structures — many in the North Harbor area — have been targeted for demolition this year in preparation for construction of entire blocks of new, privately owned homes.

The five-year plan includes enhanced business districts both downtown and in North Harbor to complement the new residential areas.

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