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Fayetteville hiring more inspectors to ease up construction delays

Posted April 29, 2015

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— For commercial home builders such as Greg West, a little green electrical inspections stamp from the City of Fayetteville is worth big money.

Without it, construction jobs are delayed and interest compounds.

“You multiply that on each house, and I don’t even want to calculate the math,” West said. “But on a commercial job, when they’re building a Walmart, that’s thousands of dollars a day.”

West and other builders say they have been losing money in the past year because the city’s inspection department is short-handed. Inspections that used to take two days are now taking as long as two weeks.

West said that's causing a ripple effect to sub-contractors.

"Plumbing can’t happen and insulation can’t happen and sheet rock can’t go up until the electrical inspection is done,” said West, co-owner of Westan Homes. “And I’ll never be able to get those two weeks back. Never.”

Scott Shuford, director of Fayetteville’s Development Services department that handles inspections, said the city has been aware of the problem caused by not having enough inspectors.

And things are about to change.

"With the new pay plan that went into effect a couple of months ago, we’ve been able to complete the hires of all our vacant positions, except for one that just opened up recently,” Shuford said.

The cause of the shortage was two-fold, he said. The building boom has made the industry more competitive, and similar jobs pay better in the Triangle.

The city has also hired a county electrical inspector to work on Saturdays and moved a code enforcement inspector over to help with the backlog of inspections, he said.


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