Wednesday, August 29, 2012
After years of consolidation discussions, Wichita and Sedgwick County have taken another step forward by approving a joint policy resolution and ordinance.
Today, Sedgwick County Commissioners unanimously approved the consolidation of building and trade code enforcement and the creation of the Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department.
"This concept of a one-stop-shop, those are not just words. That's going to become very valuable to us. A cost savings to us," said Ray Frederick, owner of Frederick Plumbing & Heating.
Frederick and other trade professionals said this will save them time.
Professionals will no longer have to duplicate city and county approvals necessary for code enforcement, such as certificates, permits, and inspections.
This value for builders, contractors, and homeowners was acknowledged by county and city leaders.
"They say to us time is money. If you give them a one-stop-shop, you're saving them with having to cut their time in getting work done. You're saving them money and they're very excited about what we're doing here," said Ron Holt, Sedgwick County assistant manager.
The merger will provide for a unified code and will be considerate of certain codes that only apply to urban and rural areas.
Holt said the consolidation should not change current codes and should not increase costs for customers.
The new department will be operational by Jan. 1.