Ramsey hires building official

After working a contractor with the city of Ramsey for over a year, Rick Jarson is now the city’s full-time building official.

The city hired Jarson away from Inspectron and his first day as Ramsey’s building official was Sept. 16.

Tim Gladhill, Ramsey’s development services manager, told the Ramsey City Council that this allows a smooth transition and Jarson was the best candidate for the job.

Rick Jarson
Rick Jarson

Jarson has about 20 years of history in working with city governments after 17 years of being a carpenter. He completed his carpentry apprenticeship at Anoka Technical College.

After multiple visits to the chiropractor, Jarson decided it would be wise to steer away from carpentry so he took night classes at North Hennepin Community College to get his degree in building inspection.

“Being a carpenter for 17 years, I did a lot of physical work and I knew I had to make a career change somehow,” Jarson said. “My dad (Lloyd) was city inspector at city of Blaine and he suggested I take some classes and get into the inspection side of it.”

Jarson worked at Inspectron for two-and-a-half years. Prior to this, he was a building inspector for the city of Andover for 10 years and a building official in Mounds View for eight years.

His background in carpentry “gives me a better understanding of what to look for in the field,” Jarson said.

“With an understanding of how they put things together, I can understand what to look for and what their process is and what their thinking is to achieve the end result,” he said.

Jarson said one thing he would like to address is making the permit system more efficient.

“The permitting system we have right now is not really user friendly,” he said. “There’s a lot of steps to get to wherever you want to go.”

Jarson has four grown children and four grandchildren. His favorite hobby is deer hunting.

Gladhill said this will be the first time Ramsey has had an in-house building official since its last one retired Dec. 31, 2011. The city has contracted with Inspectron for building department services since then and Gladhill said the city will still work with this company along with the city of St. Francis building official on an as-needed basis so Ramsey does not fall too far behind following up on the high number of permit applications.

“Given where we are with permit levels, we’ve had to get a little creative in having a sufficient number of inspection hours available,” Gladhill said at a late August council meeting. “For example, by Monday afternoon (Aug. 26), our week was pretty much full and our contractors are struggling to keep up.”

If building permits slow down again, the city could not give Inspectron any hours and keep the contract in place, or the city or Inspectron could give the other party a 30- to 45-day notice of contract cancellation, he said.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]