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Roswell hands some city services over to private providers
by Joan Durbin
June 27, 2012 04:10 PM | 1877 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roswell has taken a page out of the operations notebook for new north Fulton cities by outsourcing its building code administration and code enforcement.

On Monday, a $695,000 contract with SAFEbuilt Georgia for these services was approved by three Roswell city council members. Councilmen Kent Igleheart and Rich Dippolito as well as Mayor Jere Wood were absent, and Councilwoman Becky Wynn served as mayor pro tem.

The company is based in Colorado but has regional offices. Both Milton and Johns Creek have contracts with SAFEbuilt, according to Roswell staff’s review of SAFEbuilt’s references.

Among the services SAFEbuilt will provide to Roswell are building code administration, permitting, inspections, plan review and code enforcement.

SAFEbuilt employees will also interact directly with residents and business owners who have problems or questions.

“What is most important to us is the public education and outreach,” Community Development Director Alice Wakefield told council.

A staff report cites Johns Creek City Manager John Kachmar’s assessment of his city’s experience with the company. Among the positives have been highly qualified staff, attention to customer service, citizen outreach and flexibility.

Eleven current Roswell employees will lose their jobs as a result of the SAFEbuilt contract. City Administrator Kay Love said those employees will have the opportunity to apply to SAFEbuilt, although there is no guarantee they will be hired.

She said Roswell could save around $150,000 in the coming year by contracting these services.

In a second outsourcing initiative, council members okayed an agreement that will turn Roswell city jail into a short-term holding facility.

Inmates who must be held for more than 72 hours will be housed in a facility in Pelham, a small town in south Georgia 236 miles from Roswell.

Roswell will pay a daily rate of $30 per inmate, which includes food, housing, routine medical services and transport. The estimated annual cost is $345,000.

The move will eliminate the need for 15 full time Roswell municipal detention officers.

Outsourcing of the jail operations as well as the building and code department was greenlighted by the full council during recent budget discussions and included in the passage of the 2012-2013 city budget.
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