Township Hires Fire Chief For Codes Enforcement Work

SANATOGA PA – A Pottstown fire company chief and former maintenance supervisor who worked for Occidental Chemical Corp. in Lower Pottsgrove between 1991 and 2005 has been offered a job by the Board of Commissioners as its new codes enforcement officer.

Township Hires Fire Chief For Codes Enforcement WorkTownship resident Joseph M. Groff of Glen Eagles Drive, won a board vote last Monday (May 5, 2014) to receive a conditional offer of employment to begin June 2. He succeeds Keith A. Place, who resigned from the position in November 2013 to take a similar job with the borough of Pottstown; and he also replaces an independent contractor, Mark John, who handled enforcement and inspection duties in the interim on an as-needed basis.

Commissioner James Kaiser suggested the township would have more flexibility and incur potentially lower costs by retaining John on contract. Board Vice President Stephen Klotz countered the 27-month period for renovation of Pottsgrove High School, scheduled to begin only two weeks after Groff starts work, and other upcoming projects required the presence of a full-time township employee in the position.

Real estate and construction activity that likely will demand Groff’s services is slowly returning to the township. Lower Pottsgrove’s engineering firm, Bursich Associates, reported it:

  • Held further discussions during April on design plans for Sanatoga Marketplace, a retail shopping center proposed for East High Street just west of the Turkey Hill convenience store.
  • Continues to work with Wil Hallman Retirement Development of Sanatoga on plans for the Phase 2 apartment complex at Buchert Ridge Community on Buchert Road; and
  • Is reviewing plans and prospective new ordinances that could make possible the mixed-use development project west of Evergreen Road called Sanatoga Green, which was proposed to commissioners about a year ago.

Groff is chief of the Philadelphia Steam Engine Fire Company in Pottstown.

Since 2005 he has worked in building inspection and code enforcement capacities for several private companies, and is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor as a building code official. Groff also is certified in various residential building system inspections under the International Residential Code, and currently is working to obtain his commercial building inspector certification.

Groff supervised a team of craftsmen daily when he was employed at OxyChem, according to a resume supplied by the township. He has specialized knowledge in electrical controls of production equipment and power distribution from high-voltage supply systems.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ May 5 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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