Business has been brisk for the first six months of the fiscal year for Linn County in Oregon. Total department revenue is up 45%. Permit activity and revenues are up in all sectors.
However, the Board of Commissioners received the report at its most recent meeting that it is difficult for the county to hire inspectors, who often earn more money in the private sector.
According to story in the Albany Democrat-Herald, Commissioner John Lindsey, who is an electrician by trade, said journeymen electricians earn about $40 per hour while county inspectors start in the $35 per hour range. The shortage of electricians, pipe fitters and plumbers is across the board, he said.
“And, our inspectors are expected to be competent, not just out of a college program,” Lindsey said. “They should have some real-world experience. We may need to make salary adjustments to be competitive.”
The County reported rural building permits are up 17% and electrical permits are up 23%. Permits for site-built residences are up from 29 at the same time last year to 42 this year.
The county said it is trying to hire an electrical inspector.