State building codes explains changes in operations with state takeover February 1

Shane Sumtom, left, and Rex Turner of Oregon State Building Codes answer questions from contractors January 30 at the Wasco County Courthouse
Contractors and local officials listen to contractor’s question at building codes meeting.

Oregon Building Codes Division held its information meeting Tuesday  night to let local contractors kinow what to expect when the state takes over permitting, plan review and inspections for Wasco. Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties Thursday, February 1. Rex Turner and Shane Sumton from the state building codes explained that the new building codes office for the four-county region will open on Feb. 1  at 2705 East 2nd St. in the same building as the Wasco County Planning Department. The phone number is 541-506-2650 and the fax number is 541-506-2651. The office will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am to noon and from 1 pm to 4 pm.

They said a plumbing inspector working for MCCOG will join the state’s operation, and that an electrical inspector who lives in Hood River will help out. Structural and mecanical inspectors from the state’s Pendleton office will be brought in as needed and that they have 11 applicants for other positions.

“The positions I have available,” Sumtom said, “is a full time structural/mechanical inspector, a full-time plumbing inspector, and A-level electrical inspector, a plans examiner and a permit tech.”

Other key points were that fees will remain the same and there would be an interim period until February 12 to get electronic permitting set up at the new office. During that time, contractors would have to call or fax the new local office instead of going on line to set up inspections. Until then, the office itself will be relying on a printout of all current permits that will be taken at the close of business today.

And he said initially at least, plan reviews would be sent to Salem. “Perhaps electrical and plumbing might be an exception. On these smaller jobs we can probably handle these with this office. We get some kind of large commercial project, that’s definitely going to go to Salem.

01 3 18 plans :12 …have to go to Salem

Both emphasized that the state was operating the program temporarily after the dissolution of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments until Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties decide what they want to do.

To hear a recording of the meeting, click on the grey podcast bar below: