Blaine council approves building department intern

The Blaine City Council has approved the city’s first building department internship as a temporary means of handling routine residential inspections.

According to Bryan Schafer, planning and community development director, a building boom, the addition of several commercial projects and the city currently being short an inspector has pushed the time frame for inspection response beyond the two to three day summer norm.

“We’ve had department staff changes and we are shifting things around,” Schafer reported during the council’s June 21 meeting.

Dan Hauck was named Blaine’s chief building official effective June 11.

His former position is being modified and a job search process currently is under way, Schafer said.

Hauck replaced former chief building official Gary Hagedorn who pleaded guilty May 24 in Anoka County District Court to a gross misdemeanor misconduct by a public officer charge.

Hagedorn, 58, Coon Rapids, had been charged with taking money for a previous residential electrical inspection he was neither approved nor qualified to perform and a theft by swindle charge, which was dismissed by Judge Donald J. Venne.

Hagedorn was ordered to serve 30 days in jail, pay a $200 fine and $400 in restitution to a manufactured home owner in the 3000 block of 87th Ave. N.E.

Hagedorn remains on unsupervised district court probation for a year. Hagedorn was a 16-year city of Blaine employee.

His last day of employment with the city was April 9. The complaint filed against Hagedorn alleged he took a $400 check from a manufactured home owner in the 3000 block of 87th Ave. N.E. last summer.

Hagedorn was not the approved electrical inspector for the city. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is Blaine’s sole inspection authority for all electrical inspections.

Schafer said the building department intern would have the educational background and be certified, but lacks the experience of a full-time building inspector.

“They could do some of the more routine items like decks, garages, sheds, and help out in the office with scheduling,” Schafer said.

“Technically, it’s a new position, so we need council approval.”

The 32 to 40 hours per week position would be paid $12 to $15 per hour with a $14,000 maximum and no benefits, Schafer said.

“We anticipate we could get somebody in fairly soon,” he said.

The position would end around Nov. 2. Council unanimously approved Schafer’s intern staffing request.

City Manager Clark Arneson told the council the city’s building department was extremely busy.

“We had permits for 15 new houses come in Monday [June 18],” he said.

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]