From The Real Deal:
After eight years of increased inspector presence, the Department of Buildings has eliminated 20 of its employee positions, as a result of a roughly 8 percent budget cut to the department. Of the eliminated employees, eight were inspectors, five were plan examiners and seven were administrative staff.
The DOB's 2011 forecasted budget is approximately $98.42 million. Down from 2010's forecasted $102.75 million fiscal year budget.
Yet industry leaders say they're unfazed by the smaller number of inspectors, citing a recession-driven downturn in the amount of construction activity in the city.
The DOB currently has 359 inspectors.
"We're close to a depression in this industry… construction activity is down 60 percent," Louis Coletti, head of the Building Trades Employers' Association, said, noting that there are far fewer construction sites that need monitoring. Referring to city funds, Coletti said that if the city doesn't need as many construction inspectors, money should not be allocated for them. "You target the resources where you need them," he noted.