Pickaway News Journal

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

Toole's departure spurs reorganization at county building department

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CIRCLEVILLE - The Pickaway County Building Department will see a bit of reorganization following the resignation of Bill Toole as chief building official.

Toole, who has served in that capacity since March of 2012, will be leaving the county's employment at the end of the business day Friday.

Rather than hiring a new chief building official, the Pickaway County Commissioners will seek to hire a second building inspector to complement the efforts of current inspector Jeff Davis, according to Brad Lutz, county administrator.

The responsibilities of CBO, he said, would then be contracted out, eliminating the cost of a full-time salary for that position.

"We're talking anywhere from four to eight hours a week of work that the CBO position would require in our building department," Lutz said. "That's a relatively small number of hours we need a CBO, and we need building inspector qualifications a lot more."

Toole served in a dual role as chief building official and as an inspector with expertise in electrical services, Lutz said. Davis' expertise is in plumbing inspection. Both could do residential inspections, he said, and Toole could perform commercial inspections.

Candidates for the new position are required to be an electrical safety inspector (ESI) and are preferred to have a residential inspection background, Lutz said.

"For someone with electrical and residential qualifications, which is ideally what we want, that would be at $25 per hour for a Building Inspector 2," Lutz said. "The CBO makes just over $30 per hour, so there would be a cost savings there."

The contracting of CBO duties is already a common practice when Toole has been on vacation or otherwise unavailable, Lutz said.

"We're not blazing a new trail here," he said. "There are a number of smaller building departments that contract out those services."

The primary backup for Pickaway County's CBO is Asebrook & Co., which Toole will be joining as a 50-percent partner beginning next week. Toole said the company's name change is already in the works, and it will soon be known as Toole & Associates, providing building inspections, plan review services and code consulting services.

"Asebrook has been the primary backup for Bill when he's been on vacation, and we will continue to rely on them moving forward," Lutz said. "We have also used Ross County a couple of times and Grove City, so we have a number of local jurisdictions we can turn to as well."

Lutz said there is no conflict of interest working with Toole & Associates/Asebrook in the future, even though Toole will be involved in the company's ownership.

"There's no disqualification from working with them since he's making a clean break with us," Lutz said. "He just couldn't do both at the same time."

Toole said he agrees with the county commissioners that it makes economic sense to contract out the duties of a chief building official for things like building inspections and plan review services.

Toole and Lutz also both said they believe the public will see no difference in the way their building services are delivered.

"I want to make sure the citizens of Pickaway County are treated well and get the treatment they need and deserve from their government entities," Toole said. "I thank the people of Pickaway County for placing their trust in me to do the job that needed done for them, and I thank the people of the county for working with me."

Lutz said the commissioners will be advertising for the Building Inspector 2 position immediately and keep it open for at least 10 days.

"If we get enough qualified applicants in that time, we will begin the interview process," he said. "Hopefully we can have someone in place within the next three to four weeks."

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