Former Franklin inspector accepts county codes job

Friday, November 14, 2008

Marshall County hired a building inspector Wednesday on a recommendation from the County Commission's Codes Committee.

He's John Price, 57, of Campbell Station at Culleoka who's been an inspector for the City of Franklin where, according to Codes and Zoning Director Don Nelson, enforcement has been strict.

As a result, Nelson is organizing a meeting for contractors and others in the building trades to meet Price and review procedures that county commissioners have been adding for Codes Department practices. A date and time is to be announced.

"We're striving for consistency and a professionalism in the office," Nelson said.

Nine applications were received for the part-time position that's opened since Michael Anderson, the county's other codes officer, has returned to military service.

County Commissioner Jimmy Stitt, chairman of the Codes Committee, reviewed the nine applications and selected four people to be interviewed by Nelson. Construction experience was what Stitt said he wanted. The committee met Tuesday night.

For 20 years, Price worked as a general contractor with his father's business, B.H. Price at Columbia. The new part-time inspector worked in Franklin's Codes Department during 2003-07 and then became a project manager for Carbine & Associates. That business has stopped building because of the economy and Price started looking for work.

Price starts work here next week.

Other applicants were seen as capable and qualified to varying degrees, but commissioners noted some inter-relationships with contractors and developers. Nelson discounted that as a factor since he will continue to inspect construction sites and that would be a way to avoid conflicts of interest.

However, Price's experience and qualifications were seen as strong enough to warrant committee approval of his requested pay rate of $17.50 per hour when the county had seen the job's pay range as $12-$15 per hour.

Furthermore, price was seen as the best applicant with construction inspector certifications in plumbing, building and mechanical trades. He has state certifications as a result of examinations conducted by the international Codes Council.

Price was frank with Nelson, the department director told the commissioners. He's applied for work with Metro Nashville and would want full-time work. Stitt discounted that as a risk, saying the commute from Culleoka could be difficult and the chairman was "more comfortable" with someone who has codes office experience.

One factor that has been mentioned in previous meetings is that as a military serviceman, Anderson has a right to return to county work after his hitch is up. Anderson, however, has said that he'd rather develop his military career even though federal law garentees him a job when released from military service.

In other business during the Codes Committee meeting, commissioners considered: various specific inspections that have been brought to their attention; a request from a builder who wanted a variance on measurements for stair steps, and; a continuing series of policy and procedure changes for the department.