CAMANCHE — Camanche City Administrator Andrew Kida is hoping to have a new building inspector in place around the beginning of July, he confirmed Tuesday.
Kida hopes to have the job description in place by April so they can advertise the position in May and make an offer for the position in June, he said. He is targeting July 1 as a start date for the position, he noted.
“One of the things we’re talking about, too, is adding rental inspections as well,” Kida said. “So if this person is doing the building inspector functions, issuing permits and all of that and going out and actually inspecting properties like the way we should be and doing nuisance abatement and code enforcement and doing rental inspections, I think they’re going to be quite busy,” Kida said.
The designs for the new city hall include a corner office to house the building inspector, Kida confirmed. The corner office location would have a window so residents could get their permits and then pay at the payment window, he added.
Councilman Brent Brightman believes the building inspector needs a city vehicle. Kida also supports the position utilizing a city vehicle, he said.
“A couple of times, I’ve had to ask the police department to go on nuisance calls because I don’t necessarily want my personal vehicle being the one targeted when somebody’s mad because the city’s taking action on them and it’s my vehicle out there,” Kida said. Plus it’s a little weird when some guy in a suit and a car just shows up to your property and starts taking pictures. You need to have some kind of identification out there.”
A building inspector job description from the city of Denison states the building inspector reports to the fire chief. Kida has no issue with the building inspector reporting to the police chief, fire chief or public works director, he said. He suggested the position not report to the city administrator to keep a buffer between the city administrator position and the building inspector position. Kida handles appeals from citizens, he noted.
There are different portions of the position where it would be beneficial to report to the fire chief, police chief or public works director, Fire Chief Dave Schutte believes.
“There’s an application where reporting to us with the inspections and some of those things and building permits go hand and hand that have to fall in line with the fire code,” Schutte said. “They’re going to have some things that it might be a joint process. Certainly, you can delegate one of us to do that and I’d be glad to do that. But there may be times where they report to any and all of us. The nuisance abatement’s going to be more of a police type thing and then you have some issues that are going to be public works type things.”
Councilman Danny Weller questioned whether the position should be part of public works. The building inspector will be busy at first but there will be times when the city could use help in public works if the building inspector is not busy, Weller suggested.
The building inspector will be busy in the first year getting things in order and learning aspects of the job, Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis believes.
The job description from Denison includes a statement about the building inspector position assisting with emergency snow removal and flood response, Kida noted.
“That’s all public works stuff,” Kida said. “And I think adding that in there makes it kind of clear that’s your next primary duty, when there’s a lull in operations over here you’re helping those folks.”
Schutte cautioned the city against giving the building inspector so many different duties that it will take away from the effectiveness of the main purpose of the position. The individual in the position can assist public works but should not be expected to work 20 hours a week in public works, Schutte believes.
Willis believes the city will eventually need to look at adding staff in public works. He cited the city’s growth over the last 30 years.
“We’ve grown our police department. We’ve grown our fire department. But we haven’t grown our public works,” Willis said. “So this was kind of a way to maybe give them an extra hand when this individual wasn’t busy.”