With strings attached, board approves hiring of building department employee

By: Robert Guttersohn | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 6, 2013

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The board approved unanimously the hiring of an additional full-time inspector for the Building Department at the Jan. 28 meeting.

With the motion, Trustee Dino Bucci said he wants Dan Fairless, the Building Official, to evaluate the needed size of his clerical staff and report back to the board in 30 days.

Fairless said the additional hire was needed due to the increased amount of work his department is undertaking.

“I believe we are going to be taking on more responsibilities from some other departments,” Fairless said.

The work being undertaken by the inspectors of the building department has increased as Macomb Township’s housing market rebounds from the recession.

According to statistics provided by the Building Department, building permits increased to 1,324 in 2012 from 931 in 2010. Likewise, the number of inspections Fairless’ department must perform has increased to 21,804 in 2012 from 14,863 in 2010.

The township pulled in $1.3 million in fees from inspections last year, according to Building Department data.

Because of the increase, Fairless planned to extend an offer of employment to a township ordinance enforcement inspector who has been working on a temporary basis since May. The employee’s contract would have expired Jan. 31 if the board had not approved the hire.

The employee will be hired on a probationary six-month period.

Bucci agreed that the department needed another person out on the street inspecting the houses and other buildings that are being constructed.

“I think your department has the need for an inspector, and I think with the additional work, they’ll be able to do it,” Bucci said.

In contrast, Bucci called the department’s clerical staff excessive.

“I think your inspector situation should be resolved,” Bucci said. “I don’t think your clerical situation is resolved. I think your staff there is a little high.”

Bucci asked Fairless for a report in 30 days to justify the number of clerical staff in his department.