City's inspection department receives its own critical review

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson called for better service out of the city's inspection department at Monday night's study session.

New inspection director Rob McClary, who is still in the process of moving and did not attend the meeting, has recently taken over a department that has been heavily scrutinized by former council members.

Monday night, Knudtson took a shot at encouraging better service.

He said he is confident in McClary's ability and that McClary has brought in a "fresh approach."

Unfortunately for McClary, he has inherited a department that is one man short in the plan review portion of inspection services, leaving him with just one person to review plans, assistant city manager Walter Denton said after the meeting.

But Knudtson has had enough.

"I'm sick of getting these phone calls," said Knudtson.

Knudtson pointed out one instance where a woman had plans for a house in the department's hands for three weeks and had not received word from the city.

"That's inexcusable," Knudtson said.

Knudtson said the city has a poor reputation with area contractors.

City manager Michael Miller said McClary has already come up with some new ideas for short-term and long-term solutions to some of the problems.

Denton said the department is borrowing some of its building inspectors to review plans.

Special meeting

Because it included the wrong date in an ordinance involving a controversial sewer district issue, the council could not legally hold a public hearing regarding the issue Monday night.

After realizing the city's mistake, the council agreed to hold a special meeting Monday night to speed up the process as much as possible so two of the affected property owners could replace deteriorating septic tanks as soon as possible.

The council will also hear the first reading of an ordinance that will allow the city to establish and enforce parking and speed limit ordinances on a private street in the Village on the Green neighborhood.

bmiller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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