City of Kamloops applies for $150K grant to help fund two new development positions

New roles to spur homes?

The City of Kamloops is applying for a $150,000 grant to partially fund two staff positions intended to help speed up the municipality's development approvals process as it looks to spur the construction of more homes.

The proposed positions include a development approvals process manager and a development clerk.

Marvin Kwiatkowski, City of Kamloops development, engineering and sustainability director, told council these proposed jobs will help the city move towards achieving its provincially mandated housing targets.

“I can't have this type of individual — it's not working right now — to do this on the side of their desks. It has to be dedicated. If we want to move forward in meeting our housing targets and getting more efficient, we need some dedicated positions,” Kwiatkowski said.

In a report to council, city staff said the grant would come from the Local Government Development Approvals Program, which supports municipalities as they adopt ideas which streamline and speed up the development approvals process.

“Over the last year, administration and the development community have discussed the need for a dedicated, higher-level position to focus on process improvements and mentoring internal staff, as well as increasing collaboration with external partners,” the report said.

If successful, the $150,000 grant would cover half of the funding for a new manager position and half of the funding for a development clerk position over a one-year period.

According to the report, the grant would be used to reduce the amount of approved funding for the roles as identified in the city’s financial plan. If the grant isn’t received, the project will be fully funded by taxation with an existing clerk position taking on a supportive role for development approvals work.

Council voted 8-0 to approve the grant application. Coun. Mike O’Reilly did not take part in the discussion or the vote, as his wife works in the planning department.

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