City continues with CRD inspection contract

The City of Williams Lake will continue contracting services for building inspection with the Cariboo Regional District.

For now the City of Williams Lake will continue contracting services for building inspection with the Cariboo Regional District, rather than hiring a building inspector of its own.

Mayor Kerry Cook said the contract would be for an interim period.

“I feel that it’s important to let the public know we are open for business and we want to do whatever we can to process applications in a timely manner so I was struggling with signing a long-term contract with the CRD,” Cook said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The new contract could be terminated in 90 days on either side, she noted.

General manager of planning and operations Geoff Goodall estimated it will cost the City around $40,000 for the contract in 2012, and it will encourage “one-stop shopping” for builders.

While councillors Surinderpal Rathor and Laurie Walters spoke in support of the recommendation, Walters said council needs to be assured that businesses in town are being served.

“The discussions we’ve had all looked favourable, but I’m also very pleased that we are going to be seeking accountability and keeping an eye on this,” Walters said.

Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carruthers told council the City will survey the clients using the building inspection services to garner a sense of what issues they have encountered in applying for building permits.

The results of the surveys will help direct both the City and the CRD in future planning.

Outgoing councillor Tom Barr asked if the City relies more on Class 2 or Class 3 building inspectors and Goodall responded that the City is required to have on staff, or available, a Class 3 inspector to handle public occupancy buildings.

“That’s been one of the challenges that we’ve had with the building inspection services,” Goodall said.

“We’ve always required a level three to do those buildings but it’s not necessarily the bulk of our work.”

He added that the City can use a Class 2 for homes and smaller buildings.

“The beauty of this system is that we can access two level three inspectors and a level two inspector and we’re only really paying for the type of inspector that we require.”

Barr wondered why the City isn’t hiring at least its own Class 2 inspector, but heard at this point there isn’t enough volume to warrant a full-time inspector.