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Management study begins on county's Building Inspections department

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- After a recent wave of concern was raised over Warren County's Building Inspections department, officials have brought in an outside consultant to conduct a management study with hopes of improving operations.

County Administrator Doug Stanley has been approached by the Board of Supervisors to formally look into issues that have been communicated by town and county merchants, as well as interested businesses looking to come into the county.

Springsted, Inc., which has completed other similar studies in the county, will hold interviews with all department staff, as well as board members and representatives of the local Builders Association, the EDA and Front Royal.

Stanley said the entire process should take about six weeks, after which Springsted will return with recommendations. From there, the county will take the suggestions and develop a work schedule and implementation plan.

The study will also look at the department's organizational structure, staffing needs, duties and responsibilities, work load and flow, response to citizen and builder complaints and adherence to county and state codes and regulations.

Building Official David Beahm said he welcomes the study and has encouraged his staff to "be open and honest" during the interviews.

"I'm supportive of anything that can help the department better serve the public," he said. Beahm, who already had his interview, said he's began thinking of changes he wants to make and how to implement them.

"I look forward to the results," he said.

The town and county are also looking into software that could connect the town's Planning and Zoning department with the county's Building and Zoning offices, Stanley said.

Town Manager Steve Burke said that conversation has started, and the software would help link files and permit records between the two entities to help move processes along.

"I'm glad the county has taken the initiative to investigate ways of improving their services," Burke said. He, the Planning and Zoning Director and a council member will also be interviewed by Springsted.

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