The City of North Vancouver is giving a temporary funding of $500,000 to retain seven people hired on staff for another year as work load increases with rapid development in the city. The previous council stamped approval to retain seven temporary positions as part of a financial plan that saw council approve capital projects worth millions of dollars in September.
The seven temporary positions will now be extended to June 30, 2020, and they range from two months to one year extensions, depending on the position.
From Harry Jerome Recreation Centre to funding the Marine-Main Corridor and Mosquito Creek Bridge, the council approved projects worth $11 million as part of its financial plan. But also included among these projects was a request by Community Services Department to request temporary funding to keep staff required to address workload concerns.
In 2016 the Community Development and Engineering Departments requested and were granted funding for five temporary positions to respond to the increased development activity being experienced in the City. In 2017, the departments also requested and were given additional funding to add two more temporary full-time positions, as well as extend the funding for the five positions.
The temporary full-time staff all work in the community services department, and range from technical assistants, development technicians, and building as well as plumbing and gas inspections.
Through numbers, staff told the council there was a very good rationale for keeping the positions as work load increases. At the end of June, 2018, the city has processed over $177 million in construction value, which was $101 million at this time last year.
The city, staff said, had collected $2.8 million in permit revenue, which even exceeded the annual budget by half a million dollars.
“With development projects “in the pipe” and with City Council’s recent or pending approvals, it is clear that significant development activity will continue through 2019 and 2020,” staff said.
The seven temporary staff is working development activity and implementation of the City’s new permitting and licensing system.
The community planning manager noted that seven positions indicate a very high reliance on temporary staff, partly because recruiting for positions in the Inspections, Engineering Technicians and Plan Checking fields is ‘very challenging’. Managers, the report said, are finding it difficult to hire and retain staff in temporary positions. The temporary positons, however, are required even as there is an attempt underway to move away from being dependent on temporary positions.