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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Potsdam hires additional code enforcement officer

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POTSDAM - The town of Potsdam now has an additional code enforcement officer.

The Potsdam Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint Darren T. Richards of Colton to a part-time assistant code enforcement officer position. Mr. Richards will be paid $14.10 an hour for up to 15 hours per week.

Supervisor Marie C. Regan said the town set aside funds for the new position during the 2011-2012 budget process. Hiring an additional officer was also a recommendation of the Potsdam Dissolution Committee, she said.

“In September, we planned to do this,” she said.

But space issues prevented the town from hiring anyone else at that time. Ms. Regan said the town could not find anywhere to put a computer and a desk for Mr. Richards at the old offices at 35 Market St.

“We had no place to put him,” she said. “We literally had no place to put him.”

The town’s recent move to a larger, temporary office at 12 Elm St. prompted the hire. Plans to build a new town hall at 18 Elm St. will also solve space issues in the long-term.

Mr. Richards is already fully certified, Ms. Regan said. He is also the Colton code enforcement officer.

The town’s only other code officer, James Plumley, often finds himself split between his in-office and outside duties, Ms. Regan said. Potsdam’s large student rental population requires Mr. Plumley to complete frequent off-site inspections.

“He’s the compliance officer. So he has to be on the road a lot as well as in the office,” Ms. Regan said.

“He is getting behind, because he can’t be in the office and out at the same time,” she said. “Sometimes we were not getting it done or we were getting it done and having to pay a little over time.”

Hiring Mr. Richards will hopefully solve that problem, she said.

“This way, we’re going to get it done,” Ms. Regan said. “We would like to have full-time, but we just hired him half-time.”

Mr. Richards will complete rental inspections on weekends and fill in for Mr. Plumley when he is on house calls, Ms. Regan said.

“That way, there will be somebody there to hand out the building permits and stuff,” she said.

The town of Potsdam code enforcement office is entirely separate from the village’s office. That differs from Massena, where the town and village share the code office.

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