Increased workloads, including bylaw enforcement complaints, have put financial pressure on the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s development services department.
In a report to the regional district’s board of directors, CSRD development services manager Gerald Christie explained staff have seen “unprecedented development and growth.” This has been accompanied by bylaw enforcement complaints related to that development as well as dealing with public concern around the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The workload for all departmental staff has increased approximately 200 per cent this past seven months and staff have voluntarily undertaken overtime to try and continue to meet service level expectations,” reads the report.
Christie said overtime budgets have been exhausted, and asked the board to authorize use of reserve funding in departmental functions to allow “continued, and voluntary, use of staff overtime and casual clerical support to continue processing applications and enforcement complaints in a timely manner.”
Four recommendations included with the report include transferring $75,500 from different reserves for development services, building inspection and bylaw enforcement, to related budgets.
Christie noted that since May 2021, development services has seen almost a doubling of applications and complaints. Numbers were provided to illustrate the point. In 2020, the CSRD processed 352 building permits with a total construction value of about $44 million and permit fees of $304,351. For this year, as of July, staff have seen 325 building permit applications, with a total construction value of about $45 million, as well as $314,562 in permit fees.
Christie noted the board can expect a discussion around application increases, enforcement complaints, staff workload and capacity this fall as part of preliminary budget considerations.
Development services’ request for reserve transfers is on the schedule for the board’s Aug. 19 meeting.
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