February 16, 2011 - After more than three years absence, building department services are set to return to Springfield Township.
The Township Board voted 7-0, Feb. 10, to relocate building services to township hall.
"I think it's better for residents and staff," said Supervisor Mike Trout. "This allows us to expand availability. Now they're in Independence Township near the courthouse. It'll be better in the offices."
The township will continue to contract with Carlisle Wortman for planning services and Code Enforcement Services for building services.
"They've done a great job," Trout said. "We'll continue our contract with them."
Services will continue to be part time, but if a resident comes in after hours, they could talk to township employees, Trout said.
"We'll be next to them, so we could at least speak to the resident and get their information to pass along," he said.
According to the three-year agreement for consulting services, the contractors will be set up in township hall by June 1. Details still to be resolved include location, hours, sharing of costs, and fee and service schedule, Trout said.
"Hours need to be established, without a doubt," said Treasurer Jamie Dubre. "I'm shocked they weren't. We need to set hours to advertise to residents."
The proposed contract calls for $450 monthly retainer, along with $375 in hourly rates for all personnel.
The township's Building Department was dissolved in December 2007, due to lack of business. Building permits are up, but not enough to justify restoring the department, Trout said.
"Building's starting to pick up," he said. "Permits were better than expected last year. If the trend continues, it'll be better than expected this year."
The township issued 248 permits last year. It issued 15 in January 2011, up one from January 2010.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.