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TOWN OF NIAGARA – The building inspector returned to full-time status last week after a recent action by the Town Board.

Charles E. Haseley, whose job was reduced to half-time late last year during budget deliberations, was reinstated Tuesday to his former hours, in a 3-2 vote. The job reduction had been included in the 2013 budget package, which also passed, 3-2.

Councilman Marc M. Carpenter, who helped spearhead the move to bring Haseley back to full-time status, said the rush to reduce the position was a case of too much, too soon.

“This needed to be done one step at a time. We had two full-time people” in the Building Inspector’s Office, Carpenter said. “Then, we eliminated one position and cut the other to half-time. The better way would have been to eliminate one position and see how it works.”

Carpenter, who voted against the cut last year, said that there are too many important inspections to be done in the town and that the inspector’s duties are not limited to just new-home construction, which is extremely slow in the town. He said there are numerous projects that demand attention, including the 55-store expansion at Factory Outlets of Niagara Falls, as well as home and business remodelings.

Also, being limited to 18 hours a week didn’t give Haseley time to attend meetings of the Planning and Zoning boards, an important part of the job. “You just can’t do town business in a half-day,” Carpenter said.

Councilman Charles F. Teixeira, who had voted for the budget and Haseley’s job reduction in November, raised the issue when the board met last week to return the post to full time. It was Teixeira’s vote that returned Haseley to a full-time post.

Supervisor Steven C. Richards, who put the cut in the budget, wanted to know how the reinstatement would be funded. “It’ll come from the same source as last year – the general fund,” Carpenter told him.

Richards also questioned whether Haseley would be eligible to be reinstated, but Councilman Rob Clark, who initially was against Haseley’s reduced status, said Haseley would be on the Niagara County civil service preferred list for the job.

The reinstatement brings Haseley back to an annual salary of $57,504 and full benefits.