The Pryor building inspector position was the big ticket item on Tuesday’s Budget/Personnel meeting agenda.
Mayor Jimmy Tramel stated he had received two qualified applications, but only one came within the designated time frame.
“He’s from out of town but he’s certified in everything, including code enforcement. We budgeted this position at $47,500 a year and he can’t work for less than $55,000,” said Tramel.
Tramel told the committee there are a couple of options. Either change the pay plan or be willing to certify and train someone.
“What is the state requirement? Do we even have to have a building inspector,” said Greg Rosamond.
The mayor answered no, the city is not required to have one.
“If we don’t have to have one, then how do they have to be certified?” said Rosamond.
Tramel explained a city is not required to have a building inspector, but if it has one, he/she must be certified.
“All building inspectors have to be licensed. Nothing keeps us from being just like Chouteau, where if something needs inspected you have to call someone in. Without one it slows building down quite a bit.” said Tramel.
“The position was advertised back in October, and only one person applied?,” said Rosamond. “To me, at this point, there’s no reason we couldn’t continue to advertise. That might be advantageous to us.”
“I think if we are going to advertise again, we need to specify that they are already certified,” said Tramel.
“Do we definitely want to put it that way? If someone accepts the salary and only has three of the four certifications do we want to work with that?” said Councilman Drew Stott.
“Yes, I think the city could work with that,” said Tramel.
Fire Chief Tim Thompson said most people will be certified in at least three of the areas, and that code enforcement will be the one applicants don’t have.
“Going back to salary, I thought we were in line with what other municipalities are paying,” said Stott.
The mayor said the city is in line with what others are paying, but because of supply and demand other cities are paying more than Pryor can offer.
“We need someone beginning their career, not someone at the end that is already topped out,” said Stott.
The committee discussed that the state fire marshal has to be called in to do inspections if the city does not employ a building inspector.
“Right, and they charge the city to do so. They also require seven to 10 days before they usually can get it,” said Thompson.
“If we hire someone that is fully certified and trained, could we hire him out, like to Chouteau to recoup some of this money,” said Stott.
“Yes, when he’s not busy. We have schools and commercial construction now but it will slow down,” said Tramel.
The committee decided to re-advertise the position.
During the mayor’s report, he discussed the city’s financial report.
“Lois has finished financial reports. Eva hasn’t closed out all the months yet and Ron can’t do budget review until Eva is done,” said Tramel. “People want to fill positions and create positions but without the budget being done, I don’t know what we can do.
“I think we need to support the city of Pryor. We need to pull in the reins in some areas to better support us,” said Tramel.
The committee voted to approve the reimbursement to the Pryor Creek Recreation Center from Hotel/Motel grant funds for bleachers in the amount of $1,020 and the reimbursement to the Pryor Arts and Humanities Council from Hotel/Motel grant funds for their annual art show in the amount of $1,500.
When asking for petitions from the audience, the mayor volunteered that the city has received funds for the Wi-Fi project, totaling $213,000.