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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City's new assistant building inspector is on the job

Friday, June 11, 2010

(Photo)
Jeff Brattin, new assistant building inspector for the City of Monett, refers to various volumes of the building code at his city hall office. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Jeff Brattin has begun his duties as the new assistant building inspector in Monett. Brattin succeeds Wade Ennis, who has been promoted to building inspector with the retirement of George Rausch.

Brattin is a Barry County native who grew up in Wheaton, graduating from Wheaton High School in 1989. He lives in Purdy with his wife, Melissa, and three children, Enica, Breanna and Isaac. Brattin remains an active member of the First Baptist Church in Purdy and is in charge of the church's construction project.

Experience in construction first interested Brattin in buildings. Both he and his father worked in construction. Brattin later moved from putting up buildings into sales, working as a salesman for Morton Buildings for 13 years. Codes became a part of fitting a metal building into a municipal setting. When the Monett job opened up, Brattin went to Ennis and City Administrator Dennis Pyle to learn more.

"So far in three weeks, I like it," Brattin said. "Coming from construction, it's not that big a jump. I've been doing a lot of reading. I'm working out of nine international code books. All have sections they cover. I'm referring back and forth. The books are very descriptive."

Besides learning particulars of the codes, Brattin has been assigned to concentrate on maintenance codes. By the end of last week he had visited 24 properties, talking to owners about roof problems, paint, missing siding and rotting wood,

"I tell people, 'We're not out to get you. We just want the city to look nice,' " Brattin said.

For the most part the people with whom Brattin has spoken have been receptive to his message. Occasionally owners have suggested fixing deterioration by tearing out an old wrap-around porch. Brattin said he has suggested a fast solution is not necessarily the best. The old architecture is beautiful and may deserve the extra effort to fix it.

The maintenance code adopted by the city directs many problems toward municipal court. Brattin was pleased the process is working and that Judge Michael Garrett is focused on seeing properties brought back up to code.

In the past, Monett's building inspection department has divided duties between Rausch, working on commercial and industrial projects, and Ennis, who focused on residential construction. Brattin said a division of labor has not been clearly defined in Rausch's absence.

The lower volume of construction at the present time has offered Brattin time to study the codes and their application while Ennis concentrates on big projects like the Monett Elementary School addition that has a specific timetable.

"Wade has been very helpful, teaching me the ins and outs of the business," Brattin said. "We'll work with all the construction companies to make sure all the houses are built right. We enforce the codes that need to be enforced. On maintenance, I'm here to work with [the owners]. I'm not the bad guy. I want them to get the property up to code."

For more information about building codes, call 235-5306. Both Brattin's and Ennis' offices are located in Monett City Hall.



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