Grand Forks officials looking to help Dickinson process building permitsGRAND FORKS — Grand Forks city staff could be working for the city of Dickinson in the not too distant future, under a proposal the City Council is considering.
GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks city staff could be working for the city of Dickinson in the not too distant future, under a proposal the City Council is considering.
While many businesses in Grand Forks are looking for opportunities in the booming Oil Patch, the city would be helping out its sister city.
According to the staff report on the proposal, Dickinson is unable to keep up with the demand for building permits because it’s having trouble recruiting and retaining city staff in western North Dakota’s intensely competitive job market.
Under a proposed joint-powers agreement with the city of Dickinson, Grand Forks inspections staff would review building plans for Dickinson. The agreement would run from Sept. 1 until Aug. 31, 2013, with either city able to cancel it with a 30-day notice.
The City Council’s Service/Safety Committee is scheduled to discuss the agreement at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at City Hall.
The agreement says the city would be able to limit the amount of reviews it does for Dickinson depending available staff. Dickinson would pay $55 per hour for commercial plan re-views, $25 per hour for administrative support and 50 cents a mile for any necessary travel.
Each plan review would be billed for at least a half hour.
The staff report said once the program evolves, the rates would likely be adjusted to make it revenue neutral for both cities.
Grand Forks staff would be on call through regular business hours and wouldn’t take re-quests after 3:30 p.m.
This agreement would allow Grand Forks to expand the number of staff able to review plans, according to the report. Many city building inspectors are near retirement age, and this would make for an easier transition.
The report recommends approval of the agreement despite saying city workers have a limited ability to respond to more reviews due to their own workload.