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New city building inspector brings construction experience

NATCHEZ — The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for Fred Galler.

Today, Galler begins his third week as the city’s new building inspector, and he says the rapid-fire pace of his new job suits him just fine.

“I have a lot to catch up on, and I’m brushing up on all the procedures,” Galler said, sitting behind his desk in his City Hall office. “That’s what this job’s all about.”

As building inspector, Galler is responsible for issuing licenses to electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors, issuing building permits for new construction and enforcing the International Code Council’s family of codes, which can found on the city’s Web site, www.cityofnatchez.net.

The job also requires specific physical demands, including climbing ladders and working in high places such as rooftops and rafters.

Reared in northern Louisiana, Galler graduated from the University of Louisiana-Monroe with a bachelor’s of science degree in construction.

“When I was going into high school, I thought I was going to be a pharmacist, but all my buddies went into construction and engineering, so I did too,” Galler said, laughing.

Galler said he would often pass through Natchez en route to New Orleans from his hometown, and always enjoyed the city on the bluff. In 1972, he moved to Natchez after being hired by Russ Construction Company, a large contractor during that time.

Galler eventually launched his own construction company, Galler Construction Co., but got out of the business in 2000 to manufacture pallets.

Mayor Jake Middleton said Galler’s background and real-world experience made him perfect for the job.

“With his education in construction, his many years owning his own company and the construction projects he’s been involved in, both residential and commercial, he stood heads above (other applicants),” Middleton said.

Galler said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve his adopted community.

“I’ve been in Natchez longer than any other place,” Galler said.

“I’m very much enjoying the job, and the people.”

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