The Dunwoody City Council is set to discuss at its May 8 meeting of entering into a “memorandum of understanding” with the DeKalb County Board of Education over city inspections of trailers on school property.
The issue of city inspections became a hot topic in the city recently when DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester questioned the safety of new trailers installed at Dunwoody High School over Spring Break. Jester blasted the City Council online and in various media outlets over who was responsible for inspecting the trailers.
At a May 3 town hall meeting at the Dunwoody Library, however, Jester made no mention of the trailers.
There are currently more than 300 trailers, or portable classrooms, installed at DeKalb County schools. Trailers have been located at Dunwoody schools for more than a decade and this year there are 57 portable trailers at seven elementary schools serving the Dunwoody cluster.
City spokesperson Bob Mullen said the city works with the DeKalb County School District when it comes to installing trailers.
“The city has always worked with the DeKalb County School District whenever possible and has previously participated in plan review processes, up to and through the issuance of a certificate of occupancy (CO),” Mullen said in an email. “Historically the city has cooperated to the extent the school district has requested the city’s assistance.
“The city and the DeKalb County School District are working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that ensures a process which allows the city to issue certificates of occupancy on all covered school board projects in the city,” Mullen added. “Additionally, the MOU memorializes the schools’ existing state mandated processes to ensure the State Board of Education requirements are met.”
Eileen Houston-Stewart, spokesperson for DCSD, said the school district inspects the trailers to ensure safety and each city handles their own COs.
“DeKalb County issues certificates of occupancy in the unincorporated portions of the county. The cities in the county handle certificates within their own jurisdiction,” she said.
“We work with the Fire Marshal’s office in DeKalb County and with the respective city governments where applicable. When portables are installed, they must be inspected and certified before the structures can be utilized,” she added.
The MOU to be discussed at the Monday council meeting: