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Hancock officials unhappy with county inspection system

October 15, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HANCOCK -- Hancock town officials, who are uspet with how Washington County government officials conduct inspections on building projects in town, decided Wednesday night to pursue setting up another inspection program for the town.

Officials said at a Hancock Town Council meeting that county building inspectors have been slow to arrive at project sites. Mayor Daniel A. Murphy said in a telephone interview Thursday that one inspector did not show up at all to one project and he was concerned about the overall situation creating "roadblocks" to projects.

The town agreed previously to allow Washington County to perform inspections in town, Murphy said.

"That can also be taken back," Murphy said at Wednesday's meeting.

Council members agreed to pursue hiring a private firm to conduct building inspections in town. Under that scenario, a person with a project would pay for the inspection, Murphy said Thursday.

County Permits and Inspections Director Daniel F. DiVito said Thursday in a telephone interview that he has spoken to Hancock Town Manager Dave Smith about the issue.

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DiVito said he thinks the problem stems from people who have wanted to open businesses in town and base their experiences on inspection regulations they have dealt with in West Virginia.

Maryland regulations are more detailed than those in West Virginia, DiVito said.

While DiVito defended his department's work, he also said he does not want to see any regulations stymie projects.

DiVito said he hopes the town of Hancock does not set up a different inspection process.

Problems with that scenario include builders having to work with different interpretations of building codes, DiVito said.

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