Cumberland Times-News

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January 26, 2013

Keyser officials to discuss inspector post

KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser officials will hold a work session to discuss the building inspector position that was recently left vacant following the death of Ron Mathias.

The position would be part time at 16 hours a week because the city doesn’t have room in the budget for a full-time position, according to Mayor Randy Amtower. Amtower noted the position could be expanded to include assisting Tax Clerk Allison Ebert.

The council also discussed holding a certified building inspector training session in-house. Amtower, along with Ebert, who is working on blighted properties, would receive the training so they could fill in when the part-time person isn’t available. Amtower noted that he had filled in for Mathias in the past.

Everybody is about as maxed as they can get with their work loads, said Amtower during the council meeting  on Wednesday. When someone comes in with a building permit, if you got someone in-house they can process it that same day.  

The class would be 80 hours and for five individuals the cost would be about $2,000, according to Amtower.

Amtower saidt someone from Piedmont had expressed an interest in taking the class.

Councilman Terry Liller questioned whether there is anything in the city charter that requires someone from outside the city to be appointed to the position. In an email read by Amtower, John Athey, city attorney, indicated that he couldn’t find anything that stated the appointment has to come from outside the city.

If the affected employee is receptive to the proposal, it seems unlikely that anyone else would object, Athey wrote. Especially if there is a net cost savings.

A council member could do the job but couldn’t get paid any extra money, according to Liller.

Councilman Sonny Alt indicated he would be in favor of hiring a part-time person as long as the pay doesn’t exceed Mathias’ part-time pay. Councilman Clint Faulk indicated that he was in favor of the training.

After the work session, the part-time building inspector position would be placed on a future agenda for a vote by the council.   

During the meeting, the council held a moment of silence for Mathias.

In addition to being a certified building inspector for the city, Mathias was an owner and operator of MEGCO Inspection Agency. Previously, Mathias did commercial and residential construction under his company, Mathias Contracting.

Also during the meeting, the council approved a request from the Youth Football League for extra millings from the Sewer plant, with Faulk abstaining because he is on the committee.

Faulk noted that he was contacted by Wes Ours, who obtained property behind BB&T Bank in Keyser to Harley O. Staggers Drive for a new football field. In order to get the field ready for a July practice, the Youth Football League had contacted multiple contractors to remove the topsoil, said Faulk. The league has also contacted the state road department and obtained a 30 foot right of way, that runs from Harley O. Staggers Drive into the field, for a parking lot. The millings would be used as a base for the parking lot.

This is going to be a training facility for the kids, said Faulk. They need something that they can make their home instead of getting it from the board of education or using it as a side field. It’s something we have worked really hard to get.

Ours, a New Creek resident, played football for the West Virginia Mountaineers and Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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