Ottawa County is in search of a new leader for its building inspection department.
Don Waggoner of Port Clinton retired as the chief building official on March 31, after 12 years on the job.
Prior to that, he owned his own engineering firm in downtown Port Clinton and had worked on multiple projects, including those for the City of Port Clinton and Port Clinton City Schools.
On Tuesday, Ottawa County commissioners approved longtime department worker Tracy Buhrow as the interim building official. He will be paid $25.02 an hour in that position
At the same time, the board also hired Bernadette Wise as the building inspection office’s part-time intermittent principal clerk. Her pay rate is $11 per hour.
The building inspection department examines plans, issues building permits, and provides field inspections for residential and commercial construction within the county - with the exception of the Village of Clay Center and residential construction in the Village of Oak Harbor.
The chief building official is responsible for the overall performance of the building inspection department, including, but not limited to, consistent administration and enforcement of building codes, standards and county regulations and management of staff.
The chief building official reports to the county administrator and will be paid between $65,000 and $80,000 annually, according to the job description posted online March 30 on the Ottawa County website.
A key element of the job description includes applicants having engineer and architecture certification as well as chief building official certification, said Ottawa County Commissioner Steve Arndt.
He noted that the traffic in the department has been down compared to past years largely because of the state of the economy. But the work there, he said, remains steady for now.
“Construction permits are way down,” Arndt said. “But some of the school projects going on have bumped up the action.”
The county is taking applications for the chief building official until April 13.
How many applications have been received to date was unavailable. The applications are being sent to Pam Courtney, the county’s human resource director, who was unavailable for comment.