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Springfield, MO

City names architect as next building services director

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The city of Springfield selected architect Harlan Hill as the next leader of the Building Development Services department.

Hill — who will earn an annual salary of $105,000 — is scheduled to succeed the retiring Chris Straw on Jan. 7, according to a news release. Straw, the department’s director since 2010, who’s been with the city since 1999, previously announced he would retire in January.

“BDS provides essential information for businesses, homeowners, landlords, tenants, contractors and developers,” City Manager Greg Burris said in the release “Harlan has the expertise, experience and relationships in our community to ensure the city continues to work well with multiple stakeholders.”

Hill most recently worked at Ozarks Technical Community College, where he was college architect for more than six years through May. He also has past experience as an architect and administrator at JPS & Associates Inc., a resident project inspector for the Springfield-Branson National Airport and an owner and architect in H3 Architecture.

As the city’s BDS director, Hill will be in charge of a department that issues permits for all building construction phases, gives tests and awards certificates to electricians, plumbers, gas fitters and mechanical workers. It also responds to about 12,000 resident requests per year related to nuisance complaints, according to the release.

City Council recently approved several bills led by Straw to put more responsibility on landowners to address problem properties.

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