About the Construction Resources Committee

Martie VanBerlo, Building Official

Martie VanBerlo, Building Official

A committee created by the Emmet County Planning, Zoning and Building Department is working hard to ensure the concerns and issues facing builders, contractors and tradesmen in the community are heard.

The Construction Resources Committee began meeting in mid-2011 with several clear goals in mind: Creating a customer service statement, better communication with those in the building trades industry, and improving consistency in code interpretation.

Its mission statement is “to provide guidance and suggestions to improve the public’s perception of the Emmet County Construction Resources Department; improve the department’s service to its customers; and to act as a communications conduit with the department for area construction-related businesses.”

“We want builders and the public to know what we are doing as a committee and that we are a resource for them,” said Martie VanBerlo, Emmet County Building Official.

VanBerlo joins 10 other area builders, tradesmen and community members on the Construction Resources Committee, which currently meets monthly at the Planning and Zoning Department offices, 3434 M-119, Suite E, Harbor Springs (in the John R. Watson Community Building).

“Any contractor, builder or homeowner can come to us with a question or concern regarding the service provided by the Building Department,” said committee member Tom Fairbairn, of W.W. Fairbairn & Sons in Alanson.

VanBerlo said sometimes residents looking to have work done at their home or business may feel intimidated by construction laws and regulations.

To help ease the process for all involved, the Construction Resource Committee’s “Priorities List” includes:

  • Creating a customer service statement
  • Improving customer service and communication
  • Refining scheduling procedures
  • Surveying at the close of each permit
  • Developing a code of conduct for inspection staff
  • Ensuring accountability of employees to customers and department
  • Consistency in code interpretation
  • Evaluating the plan review process and timeliness.

“We hope that permit holders feel this committee is somewhere they can go that they feel confident that they can get the answers to their concerns,” said Melissa Adelaine-Supernault, of Adelaine Construction. “Comments and concerns can be made confidentially as well. We are here to help. We want to be a resource.”

Among the Construction Resources Committee members, all trades are represented, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and building, for example.

VanBerlo said the creation of the Construction Resources Committee, which was approved by the Emmet County Board of Commissioners in the summer of 2011, is unique in Michigan. “I’m not aware of another county that has a committee like ours.”

To launch public awareness of the committee, the group sent out a customer service survey last summer, with 80 percent of respondents sharing a positive view of the Planning, Zoning and Construction Resources Department.

“We invite people to continue to provide us feedback,” said Adelaine-Supernault. “We can’t make things better and improve the processes of the building department if we don’t know the concerns.”

For information about meeting times, call (231) 439-8988 or email mvanberlo@emmetcounty.org 

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