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March 31, 2010

L&I: Staff cutbacks extend electrical-inspection wait times to 48 hours

TUMWATER – The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) said today electrical inspections may take up to 48 hours to complete, instead of 24 hours, because of staff cutbacks. The reductions are prompted by declining electrical-permit revenues due to a severe decline in new construction.

“We know how time-sensitive building schedules are for contractors, so we’re hoping builders will plan for longer wait times,” said Ron Fuller, head of L&I’s electrical program.

Fuller noted that there will be times when inspectors will be able to complete work within 24 hours. For example, some inspections will be scheduled together based on proximity, resulting in faster service to some jobs sites, as well as reduced transportation costs. Emergency situations also will be taken into consideration.

Since March 2009, the slowdown in construction activity has forced L&I’s self-funding electrical-inspection program to cut 59, or about a third, of its inspector and support positions – the last 19 positions dropping off April 1. Permit sales revenue has declined 24 percent in the past two years.

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For media information: Dana Botka, L&I, 360-902-4216.

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