City approves IGA with Creswell

Cottage Grove is in the building inspection business. 

The result of a maze of mandates handed down by the state of Oregon and subsequently rescinded, the city formed an inspection department, sent employees to certification training and began making deals with neighboring cities to provide inspection services. 

Monday night, the city council approved a slightly tweaked version of its intergovernmental agreement with Creswell, the first municipality to partner with Cottage Grove. 

Earlier this year, the state argued that cities who contract building inspection services to a third party were violating the state’s constitution. 

According to the city manager’s office, while the state and cities grappled over what exactly the decision meant, Cottage Grove opted to form its own in-house building inspection department. 

City Manager Richard Meyers previously told the Sentinel that the move has since allowed the city to partner with other municipalities and avoid costly procedures other cities around the state are now facing. 

During Monday night’s meeting, Public Works and Development Director Faye Stewart presented the board with a slightly altered intergovernmental agreement between Cottage Grove and Creswell. 

“The new agreement is the same as the IGA council adopted with the city of Veneta with one exception,” he wrote in material given to the council. “Creswell will make quarterly payments of $22,792.50 starting July 1, 2018. Cottage Grove Building Program staff will keep records of service provision costs that exceed the $91,170.” 

Stewart, who became certified as an inspector after being mandated to do so by the state, no longer has to serve in that capacity after the state withdrew the requirement. However, he informed the board that he can still serve as a “back-up” for the two employees of the new building inspection department. 

Last month, Meyers released an update stating that 41 building permits had been issued in Cottage Grove which generated more than $57,000. The city also handled the 25 building permits that were issued in Creswell and 38 permits issued in Veneta. The department also conducted inspections, investigations and held pre-application meetings for new construction projects in all three cities. 

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