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City hires full time building official

The city of St. Helens will have its own building official to oversee building enforcement staff starting Friday, Oct. 30.

Since 2013, St. Helens has been working with the building official hired by the city of Scappoose, Don Sallee, through intergovernmental agreements to do the job. Starting this week, Robert Johnston of St. Helens will fill the full-time position.

Johnston previously worked with Clatsop County as a building official.

St. Helens has been without a full-time building official since July 2013, according to City Administrator John Walsh. Walsh also said that when Sallee retires in 2016, Johnston will likely begin working with the city of Scappoose in a similar fashion.

Walsh said, with the post-recession growth that St. Helens has been experiencing, it is somewhat of a disservice to the city to only have one person working in that role. The two city governments, however, have had a great partnership, Walsh said.

Building officials generally oversee a city’s building department and assist with administration tasks that involve building codes and enforcement.