County Plans To Add Building Staffers
Written by Eric Kalis on June 8, 2006
By Eric Kalis
Citing an increase in development activity and hurricane-related repairs, Miami-Dade County officials are budgeting new positions to speed up the building permitting and inspection processes.
County Manager George Burgess submitted a proposed budget for 2006-07 in late May that includes 12 building department jobs to accommodate a rise in building and home renovations resulting from the 2005 hurricane season. Building officials conducted a land use and permitting study this year, said budget director Jennifer Glazer-Moon, to examine ways to improve communication between permit applicants and the county.
While incorporation and annexation have reduced the number of permits requested, she said, continued development and property damage from storms make service improvements essential. The county projects a $4 million drop in permitting revenue from 2004-05.
With the proposed staff increases, the building department is projected to spend $39.56 million this year, compared to $36.96 million in 2005-06. Last year no new positions were added to the building department.
"The positions added are driven by the desire to improve services," Ms. Glazer-Moon said. "We want to have a faster turnaround time with permits and inspections. This stems from the land use and permitting study."
Building officials are adding an administrative officer, a micro-records clerk, a driver messenger, two collection and contract processors and three customer-service representatives at the Permitting Inspection Center.
The budget also emphasizes consistent response time for inspections, a 24-day turnaround on all commercial plan reviews and a 20-day turnaround on residential plan reviews.
Eight development positions were eliminated in response to a $937,000 projected reduction in federal bond money, but county officials hope to add a development coordinator and development communications coordinator for $290,000. Those jobs would be included in the building department budget.