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East Palestine drawing interest for building inspector position

January 31, 2014
By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

EAST PALESTINE - A part-time job being created by the village is already drawing interest from qualified people, even though it has not been formally advertised.

Village Manager Pete Monteleone said this week at least seven people have submitted resumes for the building inspector position.

The need for an inspector has been raised by council several times over the last few months. The village has not had an inspector since the 2009 retirement of Bob McElroy. It was later agreed those duties would be split between the manager, police and fire chiefs.

Monteleone and the current council agree an inspector is needed and began moving forward with that process last year. Council was presented this week with legislation creating a four-hour-a-week position that pays $12 an hour. The legislation was given a first reading.

Monteleone said he began receiving letters of interest mostly from local people following the council discussions.

"I understand that is not a high rate of pay for an inspector but I've already talked to several people who have expressed an interest. I don't feel it will be difficult to find a qualified person to fill this position," he said.

The position was set at four hours because that is what the village has budgeted so far, however, that could be increased in the future as more money becomes available, he added.

According to the job description provided by Monteleone, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, knowledge of the Ohio Basic Building Codes and the OBOA one, two and three-family dwelling code, and be able to work with the public.

The inspector will be responsible for zoning code and issue permits and prescribed certificates and examine the buildings or properties for which the permits were obtained, enforce laws relating to construction, alteration, repair, removal, demolitions, equipment, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of buildings and structures, keep records of all rental units within the village and make inspections of those buildings, and provide floodplain management for the village.

The position is supervised by the manager and the village intends to hire someone within 30 days.

Monteleone said an inspector would have been beneficial when it came to dealing with the home at 760 W. Main St.

The foreclosed unoccupied home was posing a safety and health hazard due to its condition, which included a large gaping hole at the back. Village officials began checking into the matter after Councilman Fran Figley brought it to their attention.

Monteleone said the bank that owned the home opted to have it demolished, and that was done recently.

"When people with other properties see that done they will probably get out there and take care of the things they should take care of," Figley said.

Monteleone said the village has been "aggressive" with warning letters to owners of unkempt properties, and mentioned the village is currently a defendant in a foreclosure action against 237 Wood Street.

The home was formerly owned by Joann Davis, who filed bankruptcy, according to Village Solicitor Dave Powers' report.

The village has a mortgage on the property for a Community Housing Improvement Program loan and is owed about $5,000, Powers said.



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