GOSHEN — Gearing up for a busy construction season, the Goshen Engineering Department wants to add a new full-time inspector to its staff to oversee city redevelopment projects.
Civil city engineer Mary Cripe said the department’s staff has been worn out by its workload and another inspector needs to come on board. The city has two options – hire a construction inspector or pay a temporary consultant to work on River Race Drive, part of a major redevelopment project along the Millrace.
“The engineering department, just like every other department in the city, has been operating under really lean conditions, especially with regard to our construction inspection staffing,” Cripe said.
Cripe said she has talked with city officials about using city civil funds to pay for the new position and has requested that the Goshen Redevelopment Commission reimburse the city using funds generated by the River Race area's tax increment financing, or TIF, district.
The TIF funding would cover the inspector’s salary in 2014, 2015 and half of 2016, and then the employee could fill a vacant position that is expected to be available at the end of 2016 because of a retirement in the department.
The new position would have to be approved by the city council.
Cripe said the city would likely save money by inspecting projects in-house. She estimates that hiring an inspector would cost between $60,000 and $65,000 annually with benefits. A consultant, on the other hand, could cost the city roughly $42,000 for the River Race Drive project alone, according to Cripe.
The city has at least 10 redevelopment projects that the engineering department will inspect over the next couple of years. The projects include improvements to intersections and railroad crossings, a water main replacement, road reconstruction and paving.
If a new inspector is hired, the engineering department will request that they take the Indiana Department of Transportation inspection certification tests. This would allow the employee to inspect federally funded projects if needed.
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