County Building Code Enforcement

County Public Works Director Rod Liesinger
County Public Works Director Rod Liesinger

Three hours into a four-hour meeting Wednesday night, the Sheridan County Planning Commission held a public hearing regarding a resolution of Sheridan County's intent to amend building standards pertaining to county-wide building code enforcement and electrical inspection as condition of procuring a permit. County Public Works Director Rod Liesinger gives us the background.

Several contractors were present for the hearing, and most indicated opposition to this resolution. Several voiced concern over the timing of the resolution, saying that proposing high-cost inspection fees in a slumping economy and slow construction climate is a bad idea. Others felt the proposal to be unenforceable.

But others, like Big Horn Homebuilders Association president John Sidel with Cosner Construction, view the possibility as necessary. He told the Commission that at least yearly he receives reports from county homeowners who had work done on their homes which amounted to inferior quality at high cost.

After the hearing, the Commission held a discussion. Commissioner Mike Mellgren said that as a former home appraiser in the County,he's noticing that mortgage companies nationwide are beginning to require that all potential home buyers provide proof that homes have been inspected before they'll finalize any lending.

The Planning Commission finally voted to postpone any further decision until more feedback can be gathered.

Wednesday night's hearing was the 5th informational meeting to be held – Liesinger has given presentations in Clearmont, Story, Big Horn and Dayton. Liesinger says.

We will let you know when further public meetings will be held. A final special meeting is scheduled for June 16th.

Meantime, if you have any questions concerns, you can call the County Public Works Department at (307) 674-2920.

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It's just another bureaucratic money grab!

It is not necessary to have the government force this service on the people! Anyone who wants to have their house or a house they're interested in buying inspected can find a multitude of PROFESSIONAL experts more than willing to provide them with quality inspections.
This is just another money grabbing scheme by a government wanting to continue to grow when it should be downsizing.
And for all of the homeowners out there that think this will not be affecting them; just wait until you go to sell your house in the future and find that you can't without spending thousands of dollars to please these new inspectors.

Amazing how many ill

Amazing how many ill informed people in sheridan think that permitting will somehow keep people from building trash piles next to mansions.When it's actually Zoning and Subdivision contracts that prevent people from creating junk yards in neighborhoods.

No wonder local goverment does whatever it wants in sheridan county,the people don't even take time to educate themselves.

County building code enforcement


wanted to point out to the person who said only contractors were opposing this move. If you noticed the transcript mentioned two of the largest home contractors were IN favor and pushing for these changes. Why would that be? Reduce competition perhaps?

Some years ago while not living here we built a home. We hired our own inspector. It wasn't difficult to find a qualified person to do so. Why don't we help the private sector grow. Banks currently use private real estate appraisors for bank loans. Why can't this be handled in the same manner? Let the county license the inspectors.


County Building code Enforcement

To the person who asked.."Why can't we hire our own inspectors?" The answer may very well be this... Because Rod Leisinger has already guessed at the county income when using his MANDATED county inspector rule!!... He said at the 5 May meeting..."I have calculaed that with these fees charged for permits, that we will talley anywhere from $175K to 185K for the full salary for our inspectors." If Rod claims that this new additon to our already budget burdened county government will pay for itself... then ANY loss of revenue..(to private inspectors?), will not help his claim will it? I asked at the 5 May meeting of our planning and zoning commission.."Why can't folks "opt -in" if they want to ensure their project is built to codes"? I got no discussion... and no answer to my question! (Most assuredly however,for the SAME REASON!) While Rod was asked,(at the Story presentation), "Will ALL contractors be required to purchase licenses"? Rod was not prepared for the question as he did not have an answer, and asked one of the commissioners present this question! At the 5 May meeting, a BOARD member asked this vey same question two days later! Rod AGAIN did not have the answer, but said the following.. "We are presently looking into whether we can legally require all contractors to purchase licenses"! If you read the paper on 4 May, Rod is quoted as saying.. "this is not a money maker for us"! ?? If he already has calculated the income from permit/inspection fees as being ADEQUATE enough to have this program support itself... why then is he legally pursuing ADDED INCOME for the county by "pursuing a legal question" about obtaining MORE MONEY via contractor license fees?? It either IS a "money maker" Rod... or it ISN'T. You say one thing at one meeting in Story, but then PUBLICLY indicate otherwise in front of the planning and zoning commission! ??? You didn't even have your homework done in front of a board whom you hope will pass it up to our county commissioners for approval! For those of you who did not attend this 5 May Planning and Zoning meeting, after all dissent was heard,(and Rod's lack of an answer to this board member's question about license fees), this board IMMEDIATELY began a "passage" motion which was further immediatly "seconded"! However... a vigilant board member quickly stopped this motion because "all public input has not yet been received"! It was then established that this topic would be now discussed at a "special meeting" on 16 June! 'Special meeting' at taxpayers expense? What's going on here? The county is under a budget crisis, laying off employees, but here we are scheduling "special meetings" on a topic that has no credible "Health and Safety statistics" presented whatsoever! ?? Mike Nickols even acknowledged this fact by stating.. "We don't know how many, because we haven't looked into it"! So NOW they have chosen to "Look into it" by imposing these new fees on the backs of residents for a NON EXISTANT health and safety issue? (Not to mention the proposed 200% increse in fines for non compliance!) Why hasn't Rod or Mike Nichols contacted any of our 6 Fire Districts who keep very credible records on first response calls in their files? Seems to me this would be a highly potential 'free' way to "look into" this matter? My feeling is that this effort is being sold publicly under a false pretense of "Health and Safety" when admittedly, they have no stats to validate this claim. This traveling road show to "gather public input" is more and more appearing to be a very poor example of governent operating under false pretenses, but only fulfilling legal protocol! ?? We need to gather up more of us to attend these meetings, or we will see our government do what they recently did with what we now know and love as our "healtcare bill"... MANDATORY... with a fine for non compliance! I would offer to all of you who read this that if this is the direction our county chooses to take, then I simply feel that you then can comprehend why folks dislike "government", and therefore abhor the word "incorporation" when they see the 'services' government is voluntarily offering for our benefit?

BTW... if license fees for ALL contractors is "legal", then when will the public be told for "input" on this point? Does Rod intend to do a second round of public hearings? Is his silence/ignorance "legal" on this question? Is the county assuming "liability" for this new program they want passed into law? I also asked this question at the planning and zoning meetng, but got no response as I believe they hadn't thought this one out either? This topic is nothing more than poor planning, poor delivery, and looking quite silly in my opinion. (Not to mention that it is highly questionable from any ethical standpoint.) Anyone in favor of this effort has $$ in mind. 'FOLLOW THE MONEY!' The county has yet to convince anyone of us otherwise have they?

I agree with this 100%, I

I agree with this 100%, I think there should be no limit to the number of these license. A person/inspector should only have to pass a STANDARD minimum test.. Creating administrative bloat costs tax payers..

Building permits county wide

First of all let me say this. Mr. Liesinger's salary and contract length have nothing to do with this issue. who someone's neighbor is has nothing to do with this issue. I have attended the meetings, I have listened to people in the county complain about the buildings that crumble and fall because their contractor did shoddy work. Its not just contractors who want this. It would not affect anyone who was not building, let me repeat that, it would not affect ANYONE who is not building. I heard at the meetings they are not hiring any new staff, they have an open position to fill. Let me repeat that THEY ARE NOT HIRING NEW STAFF, they have an open position to fill! This was repeatedly stated at all the open meetings that I attended. Seems funny that the public will complain about the government stepping in at least they complain until THEY need help with the junked up yard that is causing their own property value to drop or when their neighbor is putting something on their property they think is an eyesore. Yes true Johnson County has no zoning but would you want to build a $300,000. dollar home so that a year later your neighbor can build a chop shop next door? Or live somewhere next to an empty lot only to have someone build a meat packing plant? Thats what you have in Johnson County. You don't like Sheridan County please feel free to move to Johnson County.


I wouldn't mind fewer

I wouldn't mind fewer $300,000 going up around here anyway. However the issue we are discussing is "inspections" not zoning. Everyone in the county is free to (and should) order a home inspection when they buy or renovate a property already, we don't need any more red tape( oh I mean services) here.

Just to be clear?

I would think that if buildings were to "crumble and fall" it would have made the news, either reports or lawsuits. Have I missed reading about these buildings?

You say "they have an open position to fill". How do you fill a position without hiring someone?

Also, "it would not affect someone who is not building" but what if you wanted to remodel, reshingle, you would have to pay for the inspection, wouldn't you?

Yes,remodels,additions and

Yes,remodels,additions and unattached buildings all fall under permit requirement.Roofing can be required to have a permit also.

The Crumble and Fall issue has been addressed many times and Liesinger openly admits there is no documentation proving this. If you'll recall the powder horn had a fire in a million plus dollar home,and it was a permitted and inspected house,of course liesinger doesn't want to talk about that.

The county fire department routinely complains that they lack experience in structure fires,because structures such as houses seldom have fire issues in the county.

The county is out of money and they want to sponge money off the public in the form of fees.The counties budget is due for approval this month and that's why the county commissioners wanted to approve this permitting by May 18/2010.That date was derailed by two planning and zoning commissioners who had the spine to request a special meeting on June 16th at 5:30 pm to address this resolution.

You obviously need to listen

You obviously need to listen a little better when you attend these meetings.The 61 permits in sheridan county last year paid for one position Steve Bond,it did nothing to pay for secretaries,septic inspector or planner.Liesninger has said repeatedly that imposing county wide permits would more then double the counties income on permits.And allow them to HIRE A SECOND INSPECTOR. All this is about is taking more money from the sheridan county resident.Of course they tripled the fines also,because they know the public won't support this permit garbage.

Having attended every one of these public meetings I've yet to see anybody besides the county and John Siedel speak in favor of county wide permits.

Liesinger has tried his best to claim poor construction technique as the reason for county permitting,but has openly admitted that the county has no records of such issues.

Permitting has nothing to do with "eyesore" properties,ZONING REGULATES PROPERTY USE,PERMITS SIMPLY TAKE MONEY OUT OF YOUR POCKET.

This latest push by Liesinger on permits has everything to do with his wage.The county just terminated three employees because of work shortages.THE COUNTY IS OUT OF MONEY.And you've got county planning and public works trying to create work for themselves where none exsists,to try and justify their positions during this recession.They want you to pay for it all.

Six years ago Sheridan County Goverment was 1/3 the size it is today.

LIEsinger has a 2 year

LIEsinger has a 2 year contract with the county that is up in July.He makes over $100,000.00 a year in salary,the Sheriff and County Attorney don't even make that much money and they actually work.

The banking industry could care less about building permits.Johnson County has never had building permits and there's no shortage of loans or new construction in Buffalo.

It's also worth noting that Mike Mellgren who is pushing this false notion of the banking industry wanting permits,is also the neighbor of County Commissioner Rolston.Rolston is one of the Commissioners pushing the hardest for this permitting.

The County is broke!

They just had layoffs. Now they will hire new people to fill these positions and pay their wages with the fees (taxes) that will be charged to the homeowner. The economy is in a slump with a reported 10% unemployment in Sheridan County. Contractors are now searching for work. How better too get work than get the government to mandate work for them! Do we really need more government to decide what is best for those who have purchased PRIVATE property? Are the citizens of Sheridan County really so simple that they need a 'big brother' to decide for them? I agree with CLGuelde, this is another desperate attempt to get in the taxpayer pocket.

Much needed!

I think there should be a county inspection. Notice the only people against this is the contractors. That way they can cut corners in the name of saving some money. Plus, it will keep the "harry the homemaker" from throwing up some junk and calling it an addition to the home and not knowing anything about building codes. It's just called "good enough" I will not have to deal with it when i sell and move out.

I am not a contractor!

I do work on my own home though. I have no fears about it falling down.

I'm not a contractor.

I'm not a contractor.

If you'd actually attend the

If you'd actually attend the public meetings you'd know that it's the public that is against this.Contractors won't be paying these permit fees,you the homeowner will be paying.

The only reason Cosner wants permits,is because they think they'll push out smaller contractors with these new requirements.Cosner got greedy during the housing boom and was charging as much as $300 a sq/ft for new construction and now they're broke.

at least you'd know

at least you'd know that your house would be built properly and not have some contractor or the previous homeowner cutting corners or just flat out not knowing what they are doing. I see people adding on to their homes all the time and they dont have a clue as to what needs to be done properly, like foundations, load carrying beams etc..

That's why it's your

That's why it's your responsibility to hire a reputable contractor.Just because it meets code doesn't mean corners weren't cut.

What someone decides to do

What someone decides to do with their private property is none of the governments business. As far as knowing about their property everyone should have their house inspected before they buy it, by a professional building inspector. There's no need for any county inspector making 100k a year or paying government 1% of the cost of the building just to look at it.

This is why you have a home

This is why you have a home inspection. This is what banks look at.. I agree with others, there is no doubt that this is another attempt to get into the pocket of a tax payer.. When you go to buy a house if you cut corners on a quality home inspection the loss is yours.. I'm sick of laws and permits that work to protect the uneducated. To tell you the truth I also belive the majority of the population is starting to see this ploy as well and it won’t be long until they vote out the people that had anything to do with this garbage.

If we need any "services"

If we need any "services" from the county we will ask. Don't call us we'll call you. What a bunch of big government money grubbers.

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