City could push ‘stop’ on elevator inspections

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The city of Albuquerque is planning to close the door on its elevator maintenance inspection program.

Mayor Tim Keller has sent legislation to the City Council that would formally eliminate the roughly $167,500 program that sends a city employee to commercial buildings to check the elevators’ rope and counterweight, car control, lighting and adherence to other maintenance requirements proscribed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“Albuquerque is the only city in NM that was having these elevator inspections,” city Planning Department spokesman Rick De Reyes said.

If the legislation passes, De Reyes said property owners would have to schedule third-party inspectors to perform regular inspections.

The city will “rely on the building owner for compliance” with elevator maintenance, Albuquerque Chief Building Official Land Clark said in emailed answers to Journal questions. That is the standard elsewhere in New Mexico, he said, though the city would investigate any complaints.

The Planning Department currently has one inspector whose sole function is to perform annual checks on the 1,586 elevators around the city.

De Reyes said the employee is still doing the job, but the city cut funding for the inspections during the last budget cycle. The legislation before the City Council would formally ground the program, he said.

Should it pass, the employee would be reassigned to another Planning Division, Clark said.

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