The City of Brentwood has issued a state of emergency declaration following weekend storms that brought historic flooding to the county and region.
The declaration was issued on Monday, and according to a news release, the move allows city staff to to assume direct operational control of many of the city's emergency management functions.
“This means some standard operational processes like bidding, which can sometimes take weeks to conduct, can be waived to expedite services to assist citizens affected by this emergency,” Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar said in the news release.
The news release specifically cites some benefits such as immediately employing large trucks to clear and transport debris.
“With the emergency declaration in place, we can begin helping residents this week instead of waiting to secure and finalize contracts weeks later. We want to make sure that our processes don’t slow down the cleanup efforts that residents are in desperate need of now," Public Works Director Todd Hoppenstedt said.
The city also asks that residents remember to follow city requirements for construction permits and inspections for flood-damaged properties.
"Property owners are reminded that they should secure all required permits and inspections as they begin to make repairs to their homes and businesses," Brentwood Planning and Codes Director Jeff Dobson said. "This is important so that the City can track the cost of rebuilding for federal and state reimbursement.”
The city is also asking that residents who experienced property damage complete an online survey so that city Planning and Codes Department representatives can
The city is reporting that so far more than 40 residents have completed the survey.
“In order to be issued a building permit, we need to verify what the permit can be issued for," Dobson said. "We also have to keep track of this information for FEMA,”
While residents will still need to apply for permits, fees will be waived for those properties impacted by flooding, and the city said they will expedite permit services to allow residents to rebuild as quickly as possible.
“We understand this is a difficult time for those in our community," Bednar said. "We want to do everything we can to make rebuilding a home, as easy as possible."
The city will also be hosting a Facebook and YouTube LIVE Q&A segment on Tuesday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. with the Planning and Codes Department to answer questions about the permitting and rebuilding process.
Residents who are cleaning out flood damaged materials from their homes are asked to place those items in three separate piles by the curb, with one pile for furniture, one for appliances and one for home materials.
Public Works crews will only be able to pick up items from flood damaged homes, so anyone else needing to dispose of items should take them to a Williamson County Convenience Center.
To schedule a building inspection or apply for a building permit related to the recent flooding event, residents should call the City Codes Inspection Request Line at (615) 661-7077 and leave a voicemail message regarding their project or email the appropriate staff member below:
To request an electrical inspection through the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, please follow these instructions. Since electrical permits are issued by the state, the City of Brentwood is not authorized to waive those fees.
Tracy Barnett - State Electrical Inspector
Cell (615) 394-7081
Fire Safety Inspections
For fire safety inspections and other plans related to fire safety, please contact Brentwood Fire Marshal Jeff Pender at 615-371-0170 or [email protected]
Avoiding Severe Weather Contractor Scams:
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is sharing important consumer information about filing insurance claims, hiring contractors for home repairs, home safety and avoiding scams for Tennesseans who may have sustained home or auto damage from the tragic storms that swept across Tennessee. Consumers who have questions about filing a claim or about their insurance policy can contact TDCI’s team at (615) 741-2218 or 800-342-4029. Consumers may visit this website for additional information or to file a complaint online regarding potential disputes with their insurance carrier.
While many people seek to help after severe weather — unfortunately, there is also an increased risk for scams and fraud. Watch out for:
- Upfront fees to help you claim services, benefits or get loans. No federal or state government agency charges application fees for services or benefits.
- Con artists posing as government employees, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officials, or bank employees. Confirm credentials by calling the agencies if necessary.
- Organizations with names like government agencies or charities.
- Limited time offers. Don’t be pressured to decide on the spot or to sign anything without having enough time to review it.
- Fake rental listings. If the offer sounds too good to be true or the property owner can’t show you the property beforehand, it’s a bad sign.
TDCI reminds consumers of the following:
- Never sign over your insurance check for rebuilding, do not pay with cash or pay the total charges before the work is complete.
- State home improvement law prohibits contractors from asking for a down payment of more than 1/3 of the total contract.
- Only conduct business with licensed insurance agents and contractors. To verify an insurance license, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.