It is that time of year again for county commission to balance the fiscal year budget, and it comes as no surprise that county departments are under heightened scrutiny with regards to how they have handled their budgets during this year’s fiscal cycle.
At the county commission meeting in May, it was revealed in a request handed down from the county’s operations committee the week before that one of the county departments undergoing scrutiny by officials this budget cycle is the Anderson County Public Works and Zoning Department.
Anderson County Public Works Director David Crowley is certified to do residential building code inspections, but according to a recent report from Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, Crowley still lacks certifications for plumbing and mechanical inspections.
Crowley was hired in 2012 as the county’s public works director by Frank shortly after she took office that same year. It was discovered a few months after Crowley was hired that he was not certified to do some of the building codes inspections that were essential to his job, so Crowley has been since working towards complete certification.
At the commissioner’s meeting in May, Dist. 1 Commissioner Tracy Wandell made the request for the mayor to provide commissioners an update on Crowley’s progress towards certification.
Wandell stated his intent in asking for the information was “to get an update from the mayor on the zoning department.”
“We’re not doing anything differently … Nothing has changed. It is all in compliance with the state for building inspections,” reported Frank.
Although Crowley does not yet have his mechanical or plumbing certifications, Frank explained Crowley is certified in residential inspections.
“All the initial groundwork can be done by him,” stated Frank.
The county has hired two individuals on a part-time basis certified in mechanical and plumbing to do inspections requiring mechanical and plumbing expertise until Crowley gets certified in these areas.
The part-time employees are not under any contract, and the public works and zoning department has stayed within its budget, Frank added.
According to county finance director Natalie Erb, the total gross compensations for the two part-time employees for this year through April 30 is $17,768.
The employee hired part-time to perform building inspections requiring mechanical certification has worked a total of 522 hours so far this year and been compensated $10,403.
The other part-time employee, the one hired to do plumbing inspections, has a gross salary of $7,365 as of April 30, Erb said.
Wandell initially made the motion to request to see the total in mechanical and plumbing inspection costs for the past three years done by the two part-time employees, but amended his motion before commission’s final vote to include all the costs associated with the building inspections for mechanical or plumbing from any individuals hired by the county in the past three years.
Commission unanimously approved the motion and is currently waiting to hear back from Erb on the payroll figures Wandell requested.