Mapleton council approves addition to building department staff

MAPLETON – An administrative assistant position will be added to the township’s building department, after council approved the staffing increase on July 13.

In a report to council chief building official Patty Wright said the department “has seen a significant increase” in permit applications over the past few years, “which has increased the workloads for all staff in the department.”

Wright noted the department must meet legislated timelines to either issue or deny a permit:

  • 10 business days for residential/small buildings;
  • 15 business days for buildings less than 6,458 square feet; and
  • 20 business days for any building larger than 6,458 square feet.

“While we have always striven for excellent customer service and issuing permits well ahead of the time frame, with the increase in applications, comes an increase in inspections, leaving us with issuing permits closer to the deadline,” Wright states.

Hiring an additional full-time employee for strictly administrative duties will allow the department to distribute the work more evenly among staff (the department currently has two full-time equivalent positions).

“We’re keeping day-to-day operations moving, but there’s a lot more we could be doing,” Wright told council.

“We haven’t been dealing with a lot of things like the records retention bylaw, purging old permit files.”

She added, “MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) has added a new layer of work in that we have to upload to their website every single set of plans for every permit we issue … and of course we want to make sure we keep up on that for assessment purposes.

“With the phones being so busy and us being on the road so much, I just think it’s time we need to get more help.”

The report indicates the building department generates sufficient funds to support an additional staff member and office space will be created by moving the existing building department reception counter forward into the lobby space, creating space for another desk.

Funds for the renovation would come from the building department reserve fund.

“I support the recommendation,” said councillor Michael Martin. “Your department is quite busy and growing.”

“I also support this,” said Mayor Gregg Davidson.

“Patty, you and your team have done excellent work over the last number of years and if you look at the numbers from just this year alone, and if that trend continues, you’ll be quite busy. You’re going to need that extra hand.”

A motion to approve the additional position was carried unopposed.