In a 3-2 vote Monday night, Gridley City Council members decided Gridley would no longer have a building inspector on staff and will instead contract with Butte County.

A paid consultant has been filling in since the retirement of Keith Gebhardt last year but City Administrator Paul Eckert has been talking with Butte County Building Department the past five or six months and proposed the agreement, similar to the one the City of Biggs has with the County.

"All our neighbors use Butte County," Eckert told the Council. "Customers surveyed verified satisfaction with private and commercial building."

Eckert explained it is not cost efficient for the City to continue to pay a private firm.

Councilman Gary Davidson stated the City went to the County before for the services and the general consensus was people were not happy.

"I don't like contracting services out. It is a hardship on the citizens to have to go to the County."

Councilman Ray Borges, a contractor himself stated he didn't mind going to Oroville.

Mayor Frank Hall stated it would affect individuals putting a fence in more than it would contractors.

Eckert said the City could start utilizing the Oroville office for services not offered online.

"We want clear communication. The County would be better with that. We are set up for that there but we would have to purchase $50,000 software.

Councilman Davidson stated to keep the building services in Gridley would mean the City has control of their people and would have a better feel for how the work is being accomplished.

"Contractors are more concerned. I've heard from them, they don't like outsourcing," Davidson stated.

It was pointed out that much of the work can be done online unless building a house, which would require driving to Oroville.

Councilman Chris Williams, also a contractor  asked if customers can receive help at the City with online services offered at the County and was told that the City does plan on helping local residents.

Councilman Borges said Jodi Molinari helped him with a fence permit online last week and it took 10 minutes at the most, maybe five.

Vice Mayor Johnson stated the City can save a lot of money the next three years and revisit the issue. Eckert suggested a two year contract.

Mayor Hall and Councilman Davidson cast the dissenting votes.

Councilman Borges reported on recent meetings at Butte County Association of Governments regarding new gas and diesel taxes and Butte County Air Quality regarding ozones and possibly raising burn fees. 

Councilman Davidson reported on a NCPA meeting and Mayor Hall attended Sutter Buttes Flood Control Agency.