City Manager Al Perry announced earlier this month that Community Development Director Travis Reese would be named fire inspector for the city of Clewiston.
The position of fire inspector, formerly called fire marshal, was vacated nearly three months ago by former Inspector Adam Marquith. Reese acted as interim fire inspector before being named to the position by the city manager about three weeks ago.
Reese said he was looking forward to performing the responsibilities of fire inspector, which include enforcing the state of Florida’s fire prevention code and conducting annual inspections of all commercial, multi-family and high-occupancy buildings within the city limits to make sure the buildings are in-line with that fire code.
“I’m looking forward to doing the annual inspections and seeing our business owners on a more regular basis,” said Reese.
Reese serves as director for the Community Development Department and has served as captain at the Clewiston Fire Department for the past eight years of the fifteen years he’s been with the department. Now, Reese is adding fire inspector to the many hats he already wears.
“It is extra work, but it’s in-line with what we do [at the Community Development Department],” said Reese.
Reese admitted that he could not have found the time to serve as fire inspector had the community development department continued to handle the city’s code enforcement responsibilities.
“It could not have been possible without the transfer of code enforcement to the police department. It frees up time,” said Reese.
The fact that Reese has served as fire inspector in the past, including for a year before Marquith was named fire marshal, will only aid him in his new role. Reese will be attending the Florida State Fire College in the near future to learn more about what it takes to be fire inspector.
City Manager Perry believes Reese will do just fine in his new position.
“Travis is a smart guy. He’s already a firemen, he’s engaged with the fire department, he’s been there for years and years. I think he’ll do fine,” said City Manager Perry.
The Community Development Department will continue to maintain a close relationship with the fire department and the Fire Chief, Rob Hunton. Reese’s involvement in the fire department, coupled with his new position as fire inspector under the net of community development, will only serve to strengthen the relationship between the two departments.
The city will also benefit from the City Manager’s decision to move code enforcement under the police department and naming Reese as Fire Inspector, with savings in the tune of more than $100,000 every year.
“The city is going to save over $100,000 by not hiring two new employees for the positions,” said City Manager Perry.
Reese thinks the city and its residents will benefit also from the police department enforcing the city’s code of ordinances.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing. It will allow more time for code enforcement,” said Reese. “That’s a great feather in the hat for the community.”