[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Hornell as Art. II of Ch. 8 of the 1970 Municipal Code. Section 25-7A amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a department to be designated as the Building Department for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of laws, ordinances, rules, regulations and orders applicable to buildings and structures and their appurtenances. The Building Department shall be headed by the Building Official, who shall have such powers and perform such duties as herein specified.
There is hereby designated in the city a public official to be known as the "Building Official," who shall be appointed by the Common Council at a compensation to be fixed by such Council.
In the absence of the Building Official or in the case of his inability to act for any reason, the Common Council shall have the power to designate a person to act in behalf of the Building Official and to exercise all of the powers conferred upon him by this chapter.
The Common Council may appoint one or more Building Inspectors, as the need may appear, to act under the supervision of the Building Official and to exercise any portion of his powers and duties. The compensation of such Building Inspectors shall be fixed by the Common Council.
No officer or employee of the Building Department shall engage in any activity inconsistent with his duties or with the interests of the Building Department; nor shall he, during the term of his employment, be engaged directly or indirectly in any building business, in the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or in the preparation of plans or specifications thereof within the city, excepting only that this provision shall not prohibit any employee from such activities in connection with the construction of a building or structure owned by him and not constructed for sale.
The Building Official is hereby granted the authority to promulgate and enforce rules and regulations for the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, removal, improvement, demolition, conversion or change in the nature of the occupancy of any building or structure within the city.
Administration and enforcement authority generally. Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, ordinance or rules and regulations or except as herein otherwise provided, the Building Official shall administer and enforce all of the provisions of laws, ordinances and rules and regulations promulgated by him and applicable to the construction, alteration, repair, removal and demolition of buildings and structures and the installation and use of materials and equipment therein and the location, use, occupancy and maintenance thereof. 
Applications and permits; examination of premises. The Building Official shall receive applications and issue permits for the erection, alteration, removal and demolition of buildings or structures or parts thereof and shall examine the premises for which such applications have been received or such permits have been issued for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances and regulations governing building construction.
Issuance of notices and orders. The Building Official shall issue all appropriate notices or orders to remove illegal or unsafe conditions, to require the necessary safeguards during construction and to ensure compliance during the entire course of construction with the requirements of such laws, ordinances or regulations.
Inspections. The Building Official shall make all inspections which are necessary or proper for the carrying out of his duties, except that he may accept written reports of inspection from Building Inspectors or other employees of the Department of Buildings or from generally recognized and authoritative service and inspection bureaus, provided that the same are certified by a responsible official thereof.
Tests. Whenever the same may be necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, ordinances or regulations covering building construction, the Building Official may require the performance of tests in the field by experienced, professional persons or by accredited and authoritative testing laboratories or service bureaus or agencies.
Duty of Building Official. The Building Official shall keep permanent official records of all transactions and activities conducted by him, including all applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees charged and collected, inspection reports, and notices and orders issued. All such records shall be public records open to public inspection during business hours.
Submission of annual report to Council. The Building Official shall, annually, submit to the Common Council a written report and summary of all business conducted by the Department of Buildings, including permits and certificates issued, fees collected, orders and notices promulgated, inspections and tests made and appeals or litigation pending.
The Building Official may request and shall receive, so far as may be necessary in the discharge of his duties, the assistance and cooperation of the Police, Fire and Health Departments or officers and of all other municipal officials exercising any jurisdiction over the construction, use or occupancy of buildings or the installation of equipment therein.