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Prince George's County floats longer hours, larger pay for building inspectors

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Local,Maryland,Matt Connolly,Prince Georges County

Prince George's County is looking to give longer hours and weekend shifts to building inspectors as it prepares to open its new Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement.

The increases are necessary for the county to effectively crack down on code violators, said Adam Ortiz, acting director of the Department of Environmental Resources, which currently handles enforcement. Those violators include businesses like auto shops and barbershops that turn into nightclubs during off hours, he added.

"We need inspectors at night, and we also need them on the weekends," Ortiz said. "We have it sporadically now but it's on a volunteer basis."

The increase would amount to a 1 percent pay bump for inspectors, though the county is currently negotiation with the employee union, Ortiz said.

Council members expressed concern over raising pay with an expected $150 million budget shortfall, though Ortiz said that all increases would be paid for by cuts in other parts of the department.

"I want those shifts to be successful," said Councilwoman Karen Toles, D-Suitland. "But we also have to be sensitive to what the employees' needs are."

mconnolly@washingtonexaminer.com

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