TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Growth Management, Building Services Division, located on the fifth floor of the Lake County Administration Building at 315 W. Main St. in Tavares, will be closed Fridays, until further notice, beginning March 6.
The weekly closing on Friday is the result of a revenue decline from a decrease in services requested from Building Services, which issues building permits, conducts building inspections and reviews commercial and residential plans. For example, in four years the number of building permits issued by the Division for single-family residences has declined by more than 90 percent.
“As construction activity has declined, we have adjusted the staffing level of the Building Division accordingly,” wrote County Manager Cindy Hall in memorandum to County Commissioners. “We have unfortunately had to lay off a total of 51 employees [in the past two years], keeping only a skeleton staffing level of 21. The staffing level is the bare minimum needed in order to provide the level of expertise necessary for building inspection.”
Building inspectors are certified through the State of Florida in the fields of building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing. To ensure the Lake County Building Services Division is able to conduct all types of inspections, a minimum number of inspectors with appropriate certifications are required.
The Lake County Building Services Division is funded through an enterprise fund where the fees collected from building permits and inspections pays for staffing and operational costs. As construction continues to sink to unprecedented levels, the Division is no longer financially able to maintain a full-time operation. The Division regrets any inconvenience this may cause its customers.
For more information, about the Lake County Department of Growth Management, Building Services Division, call (352) 343-9653.