After a full council discussion and input from Jamie Elam and Kevin Leutters from Jasper County Community Development, the Prairie City City Council approved retaining Jasper County’s inspection services. The council made the decision during the Dec. 9 meeting.
“I know there has been a lack of letting you guys know what is going on in the past, so we’ve corrected that. Any time now that I get a permit and it is filled out correctly I send a copy over to Emily so she knows when the beginning process has started,” Elam said. “Then, when it is done, I only send out certificates of occupancy for new residences, I don’t do them for decks but however you want to proceed, I can let you guys know, hey that project is done.”
Mayor Chad Alleger asked what the process is for a developer when they start on a project. Elam said typically the developer will contact the city who then informs them that the county is in charge of permits. From there, Elam goes through a list of questions and begins the permitting process.
“A lot of times they call me and I might call Carl (Van Der Kamp) on something. He always has great knowledge to help out,” Elam said. “For a new home, there is standard of five inspections. We start from the ground up, all the way to the final. We don’t let people cut corners, we go by the Iowa Code and Jasper County Code. Everything that is done is done to what I believe is top notch.”
Councilwoman Ann McDonald thanked Elam and Leutters for explaining the process and having a better line of communication moving forward.
“I appreciate you saying that you guys are wanting to fix the issues because from what I have heard from the contractors everyone has been super happy with the county. From a council stand point, we were under the impression there was nobody left at the county to do inspections so we had no other choice but to hire somebody else,” McDonald said. “From a council stand point we have been a bit frustrated, as well, and very appreciative you guys are willing to own the lack of communication and we as council will do the same and we can move forward.”
Elam said while he can’t fix the past, he is looking to make things work moving forward.
“Our main goal is to build Prairie City up, get a tax base, get new houses in there or get the older ones fixed up. Prairie City is really a gold mine, the sky is really the limit,” Elam said. “If you have places to build, there is really an exciting future.”
In other business:
• The council approved officer Mike German as the new police chief for Prairie City.