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Building inspectors doing
nine checks a day

by Mark Vasto
Landmark reporter

After a long year of work and growth, Platte County Planning and Zoning Director Aaron Schmidt reviewed the county’s accomplishments and saw that it was good.

“In the face of economic downturn, we continue to show that Platte County is a booming community,” said Schmidt.

Despite the struggling economy, Platte County was able to issue 556 building permits in 2003 — almost half of them to single family homes, a slight decrease from last year but still one of the highest amounts in the region.

It was plenty of work for Platte County’s two inspectors, Gail Cantu and James Fuller.

“They did a ton of inspections,” Schmidt extolled.

According to Schmidt, the two completed 3,257 inspections in 2003 — nearly 9 inspections per day.

“Considering how the job sites are spread across the entire county, it’s very impressive.

“Any new construction project requires several new inspections from start to finish,” Schmidt explained. “It’s a tough job. Everyday we’re telling a builder what they’re doing wrong. And our inspectors realize this and have worked on building relationships with these builders and they’ve earned a lot of their respect.”

Schmidt said that Platte County benefits from the inspections in ways most don’t think about. Aside from offering safe dwellings, the inspections help to lower insurance rates with the Insurance Service Office (ISO). ISO’s standardized policy language is the foundation on which many insurers build their coverage programs.

“ISO bases their estimates on things like fire protection and water service, but a lot of it is based on the level of inspections we provide,” Schmidt said. “Due to the fact that we’re certified, do complete training, and do the amount of inspections that we do, the rate of our insurance has decreased.

“The land use plan is working,” Schmidt asserted. “But it’s so intangible. The benefits are gonna be seen 10 to 15 years from now.”

Schmidt also said that his office is busy focusing on the implementation of the $65 million Platte County Road Master Plan, a plan that he said was essential for future development in the county.

“Platte County was operating under a 1920’s road financing plan,” Schmidt said. “This is a big deal. To have it approved by voters, that says it’s a pretty good plan, right there.”


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