PLEASANT VIEW -- The city council has decided to keep a full-time building official.
The question of whether the city needs the full-time staff position was raised by Councilman Toby Mileski during budget discussions.
Building official Glen Willie and Community Development Director Bruce Talbot researched the local workload.
City Administrator Melinda Brimhall said she checked the numbers they came up with against both state and national codes and figures and said she felt the numbers were accurate.
"To the best of our abilities, we tried to provide very accurate, unbiased information," she said.
"We tried to provide information that would answer one question: Does the current workload for the building inspector warrant having a full-time employee?"
Brimhall said the city was not looking for ways to save money by downsizing, but that this was the main question that came out of the budget discussions this year.
She said they researched an 11-year history of building permits and broke the permits down into residential and commercial.
"This just shows you a nice snapshot of the last 10 to 11 years," Brimhall said. "We had a big boom, then it was slow, and now it is normalizing to what a regular year would look like."
She said numbers in a fairly normal year for the city would be 90 residential building permits, 20 commercial building permits and about 24 other types of building permits for things like sheds, decks and swimming pools.
Brimhall said the research did not include travel time or clerical work, but on average, inspections on residential building permits take about 8 1/2 hours.
Inspections on commercial buildings take an average of 12 3/4 hours, she said, and pools and sheds take about 35 minutes to inspect.
Brimhall said these numbers are very conservative, as any of the inspections could require more time.
"Working with the average here, in an average year, 1,900 hours are spent," she said, adding that slightly more than 2,000 hours warrants a full-time employee.
She said Willie works on code enforcement in addition to inspections.
Brimhall said Willie receives $77,000 in compensation, including benefits, and his full-time position is more than self-funding.
She also said the work in Pleasant View is different from that in nearby communities.
"Pleasant View is not just like Farr West or Harrisville. We have a lot in common, but we are different," she said.
"There is a difference in valuation. Homes are built bigger here, are more complex. It is not apples to apples comparing data."
The council voted unanimously to keep Willie as a full-time employee.