CLINTON — Building inspection, nuisance complaints investigation, parking enforcement and a multitude of other duties will now be the responsibility of the Clinton Fire Department.
During a Clinton City Council meeting Tuesday, city leaders approved a reorganization of the Building and Neighborhood Services department to now fit under the umbrella of the fire department, despite some reservations from one council member.
At-Large Councilman John Rowland has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the plan to reorganize, stating that he believed the council was rushing the decision and that he would have liked to review an alternative to the fire department.
“I would just say, I wish I would have had the opportunity to look at other options and have had more time to review the proposal that was presented,” Rowland said. “I’m sure it will end up going down in flames, as far as I’m concerned.”
Rowland’s lone negative vote wasn’t enough to keep the reorganization from happening though, and it passed six to one.
City officials believe that by combining the two departments, which have similar job responsibilities according to City Administrator Jessica Kinser, the city will be able to fix the ongoing issues of the BNS department and possibly save some money in doing so.
According to a letter from Rowland, the city has spent a lot of money trying to fix organizational and management problems with the BNS department and for more than four months, Kinser has been working out alternative options for the city, but Rowland feels more could have been done.
He is unsure what the cost will be to have the fire department take over the BNS services, but said he is sure it will affect the taxpayers of Clinton.
One area the city is sure to save money is with the elimination of a building inspector position. The position is currently vacant, and by eliminating it, the city will save approximately $63,000.
The city also approved on Tuesday to consolidate the BNS, public nuisance and parking budgets, approximately $440,000, into one department for budgeting and accounting purposes in the general fund.