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PEPPERELL — Selectmen have voted to split the $7,000 stipend paid to the building inspector and the assistant building inspector evenly between the positions on recommendation from town administrator Robert Hanson.

Hanson had recommended the revamping of the stipend because, he said, “it is not based on zoning work, therefore the position should be divided evenly.”

Selectmen agreed and voted the 50-50 split unanimously.

Afterward, Hanson said that apportionment of the stipend seems to have been linked to performance of zoning responsibilities ever since a 1996 vote by selectmen he found by researching old records. Zoning tasks generally fall to the assistant building inspector who was paid more of the stipend.

Kenneth West, who was appointed building inspector earlier this year in a positional flip-flop with now assistant inspector Rudolph Schultz, had mentioned the pay inequity to Hanson.

The two inspector positions were changed earlier this year when Schultz barely missed passing a test regarding international building codes that has been demanded by the state. West, as the new building inspector, now has 18 months to take and pass the examination.

Both men are fully qualified local inspectors and, according to both as well as inspectors from surrounding towns, it is Massachusetts code that is enforced, not the international.

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