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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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February 11, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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February 11, 2015
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 3A k k K <. e. Building department faces heavy workload 0t ficials want to increase staff and offer higher salaries Debra Moore Staff Writer d moore@plumasnews.com When staff decreases, but the workload doesn't, what happens? Whenever a department head makes a request to the Board of Supervisors involving staff, he or she must include an organizational chart. Late last month Building Official John Cunningham presented such a chart with a budget transfer request. Though the item was pulled from the agenda, Cunningham discussed the chart and his depdrtment during a subsequent interview with this newspaper. In 2008, the Plumas County Building Department had a director and 15 employees. This year. the director has five staff members. With the loss of two-thirds of the employees, one might expect an equal drop in workload, but that's not the case. In 2008, the department processed 900 building permits. But rather than 300 permits, which would represent a corresponding reduction, the department has been fluctuating between a low of 679 permits in 2009 and 2011 to a high of 768 last year. "The need clearly has dropped," said Cunningham, "but not in relation to the amount of staff." The building department fell victim to the same budget cuts affecting other departments, and lost staff as a result. For the past couple of years, the department has been working without building inspectors, instead using plan checkers to visit the sites. "We have had two guys to check all of the plans and do all of the inspections in the county," he said. To accommodate the vast geographical jurisdiction, site visits are scheduled for the ' north portion of the county on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and the south and east on Tuesday and Thursday. 2008 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE- BUILDING SERVICES the building 4 You all do February, The department has also relied on photographs to make some inspections. "For the most part, the contractors have been accommodating," Cunningham said. And building department surveys back up his assertion. The surveys include 12 questions that span all phases of the experience from permit submittal to final inspection. Survey respondents can choose from poor, satisfactory, good and excellent. Of the 87 surveys returned, the total average percentages came in at 2 percent satisfactory, 13 percent good and 86 percent excellent. Only one "poor" mark was received and that was in response to "the review process was within the anticipated timeframe." The survey also included a space for remarks. From owner-builders to OBITUARY Colton Clark Kohler Our beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin, Colton was born in Berkeley on June 19, 1996. He attended Quincy Charter School and graduated last June. He had big dreams for his future but his life was tragically cut short in Quincy, on the morning of Feb. 6, 2015. He is survived by his mother, Christine Clark; dad, Kevin Kohler; sister, Brittany Kohler; grandmothers, Georgia Clark, of Martinez, and Terri Pedrini, of Quincy; and his grandfather, Roger Kohler, of southern California. Colton will be forever missed by his family and friends. A celebration of Colton's life will be held at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2333 Pine St., Quincy, 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14. An opportunity to express condolences to the family and sign the memorial guest register is available online at fehrmanmortuary.com. "There is value in living in this area, but you've got to be able to pay the bills." John Cunningham, Building Official, Plumas County The effort resulted in four applications -- two from out of state. He has hired an inspector from Southern California who is scheduled to begin work in mid-February: During the process, Cunningham reviewed salaries contractors, many took the time to comment. "Being an owner-builder with little experience on the whole process, I appreciated everyone's patience and explanations that finally got the job finished," wrote one respondent. "Having been in the construction business 40-plus years, I only wish that other agencies were as helpful and efficient as you are," wrote another. As building rates begin to rebound, the department wants more help. Last year Cunningham's request for a position that would have been a half-time building inspector and a half-time code enforcement officer was denied by the supervisors. He plans to ask again this year. But even if more help is approved, it may not be easy to fill the position. His recent attempt to fill a vacant plan checker position took much longer than he anticipated and enticed few applicants. Cunningham said he has sat in the boardroom and listened as department heads say they need to pay higher salaries to attract and keep staff; and he has heard consultants and the supervisors talk about "the quality of life" offered in the county as a reason why increased pay isn't as important. "Let's try to play on that," Cunningham said he thought during his recent recruitment incy Elks Crab Feed Friday, Feb. 20 * 6-9pm Serving at 7pm Saturday, Feb. 21 * 4-7pm Serving at 5pm Pre Sale Tickets until Feb. 8: $ s40/Adults, 22/Chtldren Contact Vinny DeWitt (530) 220-3776 or Kevin Correira (530) 283-4059 *All officers have tickets* Quincy Elks Lodge 2004 E. Main St., Quincy (530) 283-1680 effort. He emailed hundreds of building inspectors across the country highlighting the beauty, recreation and lifestyle available in the county. The mailing included links to the local chambers and other organizations, as well as color photos of people recreating in the county. being offered in other jurisdictions, some of which pay double what Plumas offers. "There is value in living in this area, but you've got to be able to pay the bills," Cunningham said. Cunningham will discuss the issue again during this summer's budget hearings. We're Here to Help You Clearly See Your Sweet Valentine! + .... FRIDEN OPTOMETRY  T G--ff- o Jonathan Friden, O.D. 68 Central Ave. Quincy 283-2020 www.fridenoptometry.com Complete vision and eye care, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists on staff, Vision and Eye examinations, treatment of eye disease, cataract surgery, foreign body removal, threshold visual field analysis, contact lenses, glasses (large selection of inexpensive to designer eyewear), low vision aids for the visually impaired, and vision therapy for learning related vision problems. Plus PRIME RIB on Friday and Saturday Nights Also Featuring WINTER BAR & G .RILL MENU RIBS FRIED CHICKEN GOURMET BURGERS MEXICAN SPECIALTIES SOUPS * SALADS * FULL APPETIZER MENU DECADENT DESSERT MENU Open 5 days ,, TUESDAY - SATURDAY Full Dinner Menu 3PM TILL CLOSING Happy Hour * 3 TILL 5PM I A RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED -- ESPECIALLY ON PRIME RIB NIGHTS f. ICOYOT (530) 836-ZOOZ I[[:-= 8296 Hwy 89, Graeagle (Located at River Pines Resort) Pancake Supper and Silent Auction Tuesday, February 17 6prn 8prn Inside the Fellowship Hall Pancakes, sausage and beverages Plus a Surprise Drawing Dinner is free but donations gratefully accepted. / abilities with wonderful edible decorations ++ , ",1, 282 Jackson St., Quincy I Phone and FAX: (530) 283-1740. PO Box 766 b www.quincymethodist.org emaih quincyumc@sbcglobal.net www.facebook.com/communityunitedmethodistchurchquincy :; 4 t