Granby could save $75,000 by contracting out building inspections
February 29, 2008
The town of Granby is looking into contracting with Safe Build, a company formerly known as Colorado Inspections Services, to conduct building inspections within the town.
The company may be able to lighten the burden on town staff, says Mayor Ted Wang, and generate an estimated $75,000 for the town in the first year, according to the town’s 2008 budget.
With Safe Build doing inspections rather than the county, a cost-sharing could be negotiated, town officials say. The budget reflects $350,000 in the town’s coffers with an expense of $275,000.
Currently, the county collects building permit fees for inspecting construction projects in Granby. Granby staff members conduct zoning and setback inspections. Electrical inspections are conducted through the state.
Town employees are still exploring how the process would work and how much of town responsibilities would be handled through Safe Build, but signing on with the private inspection company means the town would sever its partnership with the Grand County building department.
Grand County Building Official Scott Penson and County Commissioner Nancy Stuart attended the Granby Town Board meeting Tuesday night to invite the board to ask questions of the county.
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Penson said he had been requesting an update about Granby’s intentions since January, but to no avail.
Mayor Ted Wang said the town’s gain would be keeping 25 percent of all permit fees and consumers would gain a faster turn-around on inspections and a more streamlined process.
As many as 22 communities are using Safe Build’s services. The mayor credited Howard Howland, Winter Park’s building official who is transitioning to becoming the company’s area inspector, for having local knowledge.
Penson said the county’s turn-around time is currently two weeks, although he’s seen four weeks if there are zoning hang-ups.
Trustee Ken Coatney quoted information the town was given by Safe Built, saying its building permit inspections take five days.
Penson and the commissioner humbly asked that if the town gives the county notification, it allows ample time for the county to adapt.
“I would just hate for it to be something that will cost more money to the people who are trying to build,” Stuart said Thursday. She estimates Granby accounts for 30 percent of county building department revenues.
She said she would disagree with Granby’s motives “if it’s meaning that it’s going to cost more for people building homes, especially with the economy and that we’re going to see a slow-down with the second homes. But it’s certainly up to the town if they want to.”
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