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The City of Evanston has regained a favorable rating for its building code enforcement programs that it lost two years ago after it failed to update its codes.

The Insurance Services Office had dropped Evanston’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule from a four to a nine on a 10-point scale for both residential and commercial property.

But after the city last year adopted the latest national building codes and improved staff training, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz today said he’s now been notified that the rating has been restored to a four.

High code ratings can lead to lower insurance premiums for buildings given certificates of occupancy while the rating is in effect and are believed to result in lower casualty losses from hail storms and other risk factors.

Nationwide, of about 8,500 communities participating in the rating program, nearly 20 percent have a rating higher than four, while nearly half have a rating lower than four. In Illinois only about 5 percent of communities have better than a four rating.

The Insurance Services Office also provides a fire protection service rating for communities. In 2011 Evanston improved its rating in that program from a three to a two.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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