Pulaski County Council Suggests Ways to Streamline Building Department Operations

Pulaski County Council: back row: Mike Tiede, Kathi Thompson, Brian Young; front row: Scott Hinkle, Rudy DeSabatine, Jay Sullivan (not pictured: Ken Boswell)

As the Pulaski County building inspector continues asking for a full-time deputy, some county council members are wondering if there are ways the building department could streamline its operations. The topic came up when Building Inspector Doug Hoover asked to have part-time assistant Karla Kreamer moved to full-time status earlier this month. “If you look at it, man, we have increased a lot, and we’re really working hard,” Hoover said. “And we could do a lot more. I don’t know what to tell you guys.”

Hoover added that taxpayers want to see Pulaski County get cleaned up. But Council President Jay Sullivan didn’t think the extra man-hours would necessarily do that. “If somebody calls and it’s something you can look at and if it’s a situation where they don’t meet the code, the ordinance is pretty specific, I think,” Sullivan told Hoover. “If it’s not, the BZA and plan commission can make it more specific. And then you have the authority to do whatever it takes to get it cleaned up, in my opinion. . . . You don’t need to go out there 15 times. I mean, if it’s a violation, it’s a violation. Give the guy so much time to get it cleaned up. If he don’t, take action.”

Council Member Ken Boswell felt the county’s building ordinances already have plenty of teeth. “I know back when I was commissioner, we tore down a number of homes, and we took a couple of them down right off of 35 here,” he said. “We had the meat and potatoes then to do it. I’m not sure what’s changed between then and now, to where we don’t have the meat to do it now. I would think that we still should be able to do that stuff the same as before.”

Council Member Kathi Thompson suggested finding out whether the plan commission could function as a hearing board or if a separate entity would be needed. Council Member Brian Young asked whether law enforcement could provide additional help.

In the end, Hoover’s staffing request was one of several that were tabled until the county’s fiscal plan is done.