Wool­wich hires out­side firm to pick up the slack in its build­ing de­part­ment

Loss of staff, an­tic­i­pated spike in ap­pli­ca­tions ne­ces­si­tates the move

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - STEVE KANNON

SHORT-STAFFED AND EX­PECT­ING SOME­THING of a build­ing boom, Wool­wich will bring on some ex­tra help with its build­ing de­part­ment. The town­ship has signed on with RMS Build­ing Con­sul­tants to pro­vide as­sis­tance on an as-needed ba­sis.

Wool­wich coun­cil last week ap­proved the ar­range­ment in an at­tempt to avoid any back­logs.

Di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing and plan­ning Dan Ken­na­ley said the de­par­ture of one of the de­part­ment’s three in­spec­tors comes just as the town­ship is ex­pect­ing a spike in build­ing per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions.

Em­pire Com­mu­ni­ties, for in­stance, has just sub­mit­ted 19 ap­pli­ca­tions for its River­land sub­di­vi­sion in Bres­lau, and in­di­cated there may be as many as 100 more be­fore year’s end.

In ad­di­tion, work is ex­pected to move for­ward in the nearby Thomas­field Homes sub­di­vi­sion, along with the Lunor and South­wood de­vel­op­ments in Elmira, Val­leyview in St. Ja­cobs and Sun­set Hills in Mary­hill, he noted.

“It’s re­ally a per­fect storm sit­u­a­tion.”

Though con­sid­er­ably more ex­pen­sive than carry- ing out the work in-house, the RMS ar­range­ment will put a cadre of in­spec­tors at the town­ship’s dis­posal when needed, said Ken­na­ley, adding the ser­vice comes with­out a re­tainer fee or a con­tract.

“We just pay them for the work they do on our be­half,” he said.

Where the town­ship’s cost to do an ini­tial plan re­view of build­ing ap­pli­ca­tion would cost $56, RMS will charge $364. For on­site in­spec­tions, the dif­fer­ence is $108 and $215, re­spec­tively.

“We be­lieve that our cur­rent fees should al­low us to at least break even,” he said of those cases where RMS is needed.

The town­ship will likely need the ser­vices for at least a cou­ple of months while they fill the cur­rent va­cancy. Af­ter that, the use of RMS will de­pend on vol­ume.

“Even with a full com­ple­ment, we could need some help from RSM.”

Ken­na­ley noted that first step is re­view­ing the plan against the On­tario Build­ing Code – the time in­volved depends on a num­ber of fac­tors, es­pe­cially whether the de­signs are all sim­i­lar for a whole block

a new sub­di­vi­sion or if the plan is for a cus­tom home, for ex­am­ple. Af­ter that, a foun­da­tion per­mit is re­quired, fol­lowed by an in­spec­tion. Like­wise, there are in­spec­tions along the way, in­clud­ing fram­ing, plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal.

A fi­nal in­spec­tion clears the way for oc­cu­pancy. Each step takes time, which isn’t al­ways abun­dant if there’s a build­ing boom un­der­way, he said.

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