Lima’s building department shares praise it has received

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — Allen County Commissioners said this past week they are seeking more input from public officials and the business community before making a final decision on the contract they hold with Lima’s building department.

The City of Lima has been helping make sure commissioners get that input.

“While we are exceedingly good at servicing our local developers and contractors as they perform code compliant projects, some have noted we need to do better in promoting our achievements,” Chief Building Official Amy Harpster said in an email to business leaders.

Attached to Harpster’s email are a series of positive comments the building department had received concerning the service it provided during major construction projects.

Such comments were sent out by project managers and other officials associated with Health Partners of Western Ohio, Dominion Energy, Procter & Gamble, Hampton Inn and the Allen County Council on Aging.

Contractors and design professionals are also sounding off in a number of written statements sent out by Harpster.

“We love doing business in Lima and the jurisdictions that Lima inspects. We know who we are dealing with, what to expect, when to expect inspections, and (can) actually talk to a person when calling for an inspection,” Spring Electric, Inc. President Bryan Brooks said in one statement.

Similar letters were signed by Mike Flynn, of the HVAC company R.A.Flynn & Son, Jamey Skinner, president of Armor Fire Protection, Michael Arnold, architectural department manager with Encompass, former Bath Township Trustee Roy Hollenbacher and Gillian Stechschulte, an architect with Technicon Design Group.

“Of the many jurisdictions we work in, (Lima’s building department) is by far, one of the easier ones to deal with,” Stechschulte said in one such statement.

Many statements also highlight the potential impact of $500,000 — the estimated amount the city receives from county commercial permit fees — heading into Miami County.

“Anything that can be done to keep this operation local should be explored and exhausted before drastic changes are made that economically will have a negative impact on our community,” Flynn said in another such statement.

Outside of the input sent by the city, those with negative viewpoints concerning Lima’s building department have been less vocal. Allen County Commissioners have also been reticent in naming specific projects they allege have been hampered by Lima’s building department due to concerns of potential blow back against the private companies involved.

The statements can be found in their entirety at

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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