Roseville to continue providing inspection services for St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published May 12, 2021

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores will continue to work with the city of Roseville for its inspection services after it was the lone bidder on the service contracts.

Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that most firms wanted to receive a percentage of the city’s revenue, up to about 90%, for providing various building inspectors. St. Clair Shores still has staff members that work with the inspectors, however, so Rayes said this year, the city requested bidders to put their fixed costs in the bid proposal.

“Roseville’s prices did go up more than we anticipated,” he said, explaining that Roseville, which currently provides inspection services for St. Clair Shores and has for about the past 10 years, was the only contractor to bid on the services.

Roseville informed Rayes that the amount of work being done had increased by 28% since it was last awarded the bid, which is why it increased the bid amount by 25%. However, Roseville did offer to reduce the fee by 0.5% if St. Clair Shores agreed to award the bid for five years and reduce the amount of annual increase by 0.5% — from 3% to 2.5% — for future years if all five years were awarded to Roseville.

“These inspectors do inspections in Roseville in the mornings and in St. Clair Shores in the afternoons, so we basically share the cost of that operation,” Rayes said.

The positions encompassed in the contract include the building official, building inspection services, plumbing inspection services, electrical inspection services, HVAC/mechanical inspections and a construction inspector.

“We, previously, had another contractor in here where we only did inspections three days a week,” Rayes said. Contracting with Roseville, the city can provide “five-day-a-week service with more people.”

Mayor Kip Walby said contracting with another city also helped St. Clair Shores get state-shared revenue during former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, when communities were encouraged to work together, and it saves St. Clair Shores money on healthcare and pension costs.

Rayes said there is a lack of inspectors available to do the work.

“There’s just not a lot of inspectors out there. I don’t think we’d be able to find all of them, anyway,” he said.

Without the discount for accepting a contract through 2026, Roseville bid a total of $425,627 for the first year of service for all of the inspections, compared with the $308,500 paid under the current contract.

Rayes said Roseville employees do a good job in St. Clair Shores, however.

“I see them go back out when they need to if something gets missed or if there’s an issue,” he said. “I think they’ve done a good job representing St. Clair Shores.”

Councilman Chris Vitale said he felt like St. Clair Shores was being held hostage in order to accept the five-year contract, but Councilman Ron Frederick pointed out that the city of St. Clair Shores could terminate the contract at will.

“The fact that we have a 30-day out clause, I’ll go with the five years,” he said.

City Council voted April 19 to approve the contract with Roseville for five years in order to take advantage of the discount.

“If we do get really busy, they do have other inspectors, so they’ll do what they need to do to make sure we get service,” Rayes said.

Vitale said he would vote in favor of the contract since St. Clair Shores could break it with 30 days’ notice.

“Knowing that we have the out ... and we get the better rate, I’ll go ahead and vote for it,” he said.

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