Updated 11/16/2010 06:16 PM
Oneida Fire Department barred from inspecting Oneida Indian Nation cigarette plant
If a fire breaks out at the Oneida Nation's new cigarette plant, it's the Oneida City Fire Department who would respond. But they're being told they're not allowed to inspect the building for possible codes violations. Our Sarah Hagen has more on what the Oneida Fire Chief calls a safety issue.
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ONEIDA, N.Y. -- "The codes are for the safety of people that work there, safety of the residents on the territory and safety of the firefighters that could be fighting there," said Oneida Fire Chief Don Hudson.
Oneida's fire chief says it's his department who would be dispatched in case of emergency, but he says that same department has been barred from inspecting the Nation's new cigarette plant.
Hudson said, "For every code that is out there, some place along the line, there was a problem and a code addresses that problem. That's why we have codes."
But the Oneida Indian Nation has its own set of codes, regulated by its Office of Public Safety. The city's mayor says it's an issue that he hopes will be resolved collaboratively between the city and the Nation.
Oneida City Mayor Leo Matzke said, "We have a good cooperation with them and we'll be looking into this down the road."
Several months back, fire officials from the City of Oneida did tour the facility before it opened. It was then that some code issues stood out.
"Based on code requirements, one of two things should happen either they should increase the fire wall to a three hour fire wall or they install a sprinkler system," said Hudson.
Chief Hudson says the fire department has inspected other Oneida Indian Nation buildings in the community, such as several Save On Gas Stations.
The Oneida nation did not comment, but there is a line of communication open between them and the city. It's expected the two will meet in the coming weeks.
"I can say with 100 percent certainty all of this will be worked out," said Matzke.