Stephen Brezler of TriData is right when he says, "There's much more to do," when talking about needed improvements to the city of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Building Inspections ("Pittsburgh Building Inspection Improving, But Needs Work," Dec. 20). For more than three years, we have been trying to work with bureau and city representatives to institute much-needed changes in the permitting process that would benefit the city and its residents, many of whom work in the construction industry.
While we acknowledge that change can take time, many of our recommendations for even the simplest of improvements seem to fall on deaf ears. For example, it is hard to understand in this day and age why the bureau cannot accept credit cards for building permits but instead, like traveling on public transit, requires exact change -- sometimes as little as a quarter on projects valued in excess of $100,000.
The inefficiency of such procedures is costly to owners, developers and contractors who are trying to build and renovate city properties using locally skilled labor. In the end, it's also costly to the city as projects and the collection of much-needed tax revenues resulting from them get delayed.
We hope that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl can press for more immediate improvements to the bureau and its processes. We continue to stand ready to help.
JASON A. FINCKE
Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania