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Vacancy forces city to use external contractor to handle building code issues

City hall has contracted building official duties — as required — since 2009 to Municode, a company that supports local governments.
City hall tower sunset
Moose Jaw City Hall. (Matthew Gourlie photograph)

City hall will use outside consultants for a while to deal with building code issues because it has been having trouble filling a vacant building official position.

During its Jan. 24 regular meeting, city council appointed Wayne Meier, Clayton Meier, Ryan Thiessen, Travis Elkin, Shenah Cartier and Clint Vargo to act as building officials for the City of Moose Jaw under section 16 of The Construction Code Act. Council also authorized the mayor and city clerk to implement the appointment certificate for this role.

Meanwhile, city hall says it will continue to recruit a permanent building official. 

“They’re hard to find. We’ve attempted to recruit from other communities, but there’s not a lot out there,” city manager Jim Puffalt said during the meeting.

The municipality has contracted building official duties — as required — since 2009 to Municode, a company that supports local governments, explained Michelle Sanson, director of planning and development services. 

In September 2021, one of the city’s class 3 building officials left her position and the municipality has been unable to fill that spot since. Therefore, city hall will require the assistance of external services to help with building plan reviews and inspections. 

“The city’s existing building official will only send class 1 building permits that are beyond her resources to complete,” said Sanson. “The city has a significant number of large construction projects this upcoming year that internal resources will be focused upon.”

Municode hires new building officials from time to time, which means council must approve those new staff so they can complete inspection services for Moose Jaw, she added. Municode has added a new building official and requires city hall officials to sign the attachment certificate to appoint that person.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Feb. 14.