MIAMI COUNTY — Officials from Allen County approached Miami County about taking on Allen County building inspections Wednesday morning.
The Miami County Commissioners and Department of Development Director Richard Osgood met with Allen County Commissioners Jay Begg and Cory Noonan, Shawnee Township Trustee Chris Seddelmeyer, and Jeff Sprague, president of the Allen County Economic Development Group.
The commissioners and Seddelmeyer told Miami County officials that they are dissatisfied with the services provided by the Lima Building Department. Seddelmeyer claimed there have been issues with timeliness and customer service.
“The projects that we encounter in Shawnee Township that have required dealings with the city building department are time and again held up for various reasons. We can’t get timely attention to our builders’ projects,” she said.
Seddelmeyer said her township went to the extent of trying to start its own building department.
“We don’t want to have an adversarial relationship… But it’s more important to have exceptional customer service.”
Noonan said the county has had an agreement with the city building department since the 1970s. He added that the reputation of the Miami County Building Department prompted Allen County officials to reach out.
“We want to be open for business,” Begg said.
The Miami County Department of Development provides building inspection services to Darke, Mercer, Shelby and Auglaize counties. Osgood said the Miami County Building Department recently took on Auglaize County.
“Manpower is the big issue,” Commissioenr Jack Evans said.
Miami County officials cited difficulty hiring qualified building inspectors.
Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien asked Osgood to work with the Allen County officials to “get a better feeling for what they’re up against.”
“Thank you for opening the doors and allowing us to start this conversation. I don’t know where it’s going to lead to, but I do believe it’s going to lead to an improvement,” Sprague said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.