SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE

Booming Buckeye to expand staff

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BUCKEYE -- Massive growth has kept the city of Buckeye flush with cash.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Buckeye City Council will decide on whether to use some of that cash to create and fill positions in multiple divisions, to keep up with that growth.

Theres is only one main action item on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, set for 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 530 E. Monroe Ave.

That item is the approval of seven new full-time positions: two positions in Development Services, four in Engineering, one in Community Services and one in Water Services. City staff seek to use $380,000 in general contingency funds for the positions for the rest of fiscal 2022.

“This is to cover costs associated with the rapid growth of the community, particularly for economic development projects (employment, retail, and services),” a staff report states. “If these positions are not provided now, the alternatives are to continue to pay consultants at an estimated cost of $570,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year (including the requested $223,659) or delay the work resulting in the risk of delaying critical projects, such as hospital, big-box retail, major employments, etc.”

The proposed added positions includes adding a permit technician II and a building inspector III to the Development Services Department, which remains at “critically high volumes” in workload, a staff report states.

A permit technician II coordinates and issues all building and fire permits associated with a commercial project and serves as project manager from permit issuance to certificate of occupancy, the report says.

The building inspector III person will be responsible for the most complex inspections and assist in plan review when necessary.

“Manufacturers, such as Kore Power, require specialized staff experienced in complex electrical, mechanical and structural aspects of the projects, whereas Inspector IIs focus on typical commercial tenant finishes, and supporting the residential inspections performed by Inspector Is,” the report says.

Engineering will receive, with council approval, a newly funded development agreement/impact fee manager, an addressing technician, a project engineer and a permit technician II.

The development agreement/impact fee manager, according to city documents, will manage, coordinate and track all development agreements, impact fees, fee letters and developer inquiries on agreements. That person will be a specialized point of contact for questions developers and city staff have about development agreements and impact fees.

The addressing technician will be creating and maintaining all addressing for the city of Buckeye. This specialized person must be fluent in a number of “languages, including the block systems of the city of Phoenix, utility and emergency requirements and the details of the city’s capital improvement projects.

Project engineers are considered critical to ongoing plan review and compliance and for meeting deadlines.
Water Services’ senior civil engineer will handle plan reviews, water and wastewater capital improvement projects and water inquiries.

That person will both evaluate bringing in new surface water supplies and how that water will mix in with existing groundwater supplies.
Community Services’ “planner I” will be responsible for making sure city plans are followed in terms of quality development that has usable park space, connecting trails and preserves open spaces.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a report from George Diaz, the city’s intergovernmental affairs director. He’ll provide information regarding the creation and initiation of a federal government relations program.

One item on the council’s consent agenda is to increase the Buckeye Municipal Court’s “court enhancement fee” from $10 to $20 per violation to keep pace with recent similar Maricopa County changes.

The council also will meet at 3 p.m. for a workshop that has a full agenda. Ron Sites, president and CEO of the Fighter Country Partnership, Buckeye Chief Financial Officer Bill Kauppi (who will have a mid-year fiscal budget update and a preliminary overview of the Fiscal 2023 budget) and from Miranda Gomez, community services director, on the Buckeye Main Street Coalition on recent successes and upcoming initiatives.

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