Township approves addition to building department staffing

MAPLETON – Council has approved the addition of one full-time staff position to the township’s building department.

In a report presented at the Dec. 14 council meeting, chief building official (CBO) Patty Wright noted the department delivers building services, including permit intake, plan review, inspections, zoning review, and background checks – for over 300 permits per year.

In addition to the duties under the building code, property standards, bylaw enforcement overseeing canine control also fall under the under the building department.

The current staffing level is 3.6 full time equivalent (FTE) positions and Wright states a complement of 4.6 FTE “is required to do the job.”

The additional position would allow the department to deploy two FTE inspectors, one FTE administrator, one FTE CBO and continue with one 60 per cent position.

The plan also calls for an option to promote one of the inspectors to deputy CBO at a later date.

“All personnel will be cross-trained to fill in any position,” Wright notes in the report.

While the move “slightly changes the payroll numbers,” Wright stated the department previously had 4.8 full-time equivalent positions “therefore there is no staff increase, just a realignment of positions.

“Everybody can do bylaws, everybody can do property standards,” so work is not held up if a particular employee is not available, Wright told council.

Wright said the building department’s financial position, with a projected $100,000 surplus for 2021, is strong and supports the moves.

Although Wright anticipates the current fleet should be able to accommodate the building department use of vehicles, she requested council approve an option to buy a vehicle using reserve funds if the need arises. The current building department reserve fund balance is $839,000

“Kudos, Patty, to you and your group,” said councillor Dennis Craven.

“I’m not sure how you do it, but you seem to get things done in a timely manner and if you need a little bit more help I can support that.”

“I like this a lot,” stated councillor Michael Martin.

Council approved the report outlining the staffing changes and the option to purchase a vehicle if needed.

Building activity

As of the end of November, building activity was up sharply from the previous year, notes a separate report presented at the meeting.

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 426 building permits had been issued for construction valued at $75,228,835, generating fees of $ 573,558.

During the same period in 2020 there were 329 permits issued for $53,344,200 worth of construction, generating fees of $482,573.