Hillsborough County commissioner to propose condo inspection program

The horror of the Surfside condo collapse has a Hillsborough County commissioner eyeing a potential inspection program for aging buildings. 

As new buildings go up around Hillsborough County, District 7 Commissioner Kimberly Overman wants more attention paid to the older ones already standing. She said the lack of rules for older buildings caught her attention.

"In Surfside, the building itself had been evaluated for structural problems, and unfortunately, not anything was done about it. We all need to look at that and determine how do we go about making sure that doesn't happen here," said Overman.

Overman said she will propose the county look at some guidelines aimed at recertifying older buildings during Wednesday’s commission meeting.

"So we're looking to create a program to audit any building maybe is as old as 40 years, maybe sooner, but be able to audit those buildings where a lot of people would be in them," Overman said.

That includes residential and commercial buildings. The commissioner said the idea is to look at any risks from electrical or structural issues or even saltwater. Since a major hurricane hasn’t tested the area yet, Overman said she wants to get it done as soon as possible.

"In addition to that, many of the buildings have been built since, say, the mid-90s are up to standards as far as hurricane and wind issue, but the older ones may not. So it's important for us to set some parameters at this point," she said.

Commissioner Overman said she’s not just looking at high-rise buildings for this potential program, but any multi-level building. She said asking staff to come up with guidelines will open a discussion on how to protect residents going forward.