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Almost all industries are negatively affected by employee shortages. The City of Watertown is another “employer” facing the same problems. One department explicitly deals with building permits, and the City has approved contracting with a “Plan Reviewer and Building Code Consulting Service.” Tom Paisley, retired and now the new owner of Lookout Plan and Coding Consulting, will be their consultant.

Director of Public Works Heath VonEye explains a bit more…

Community Development Director Brandi Hanten while attending the South Dakota Municipal League Conference and connecting with Paisley. VonEye explains…

The contract submitted by Paisley includes a remuneration structure accepted by the City.

The fees for the City of Watertown, SD are as follows:

• Plan review for commercial and residential projects is 20% of the building permit fee as set by the City of Watertown

• Additional code review fee (not related to plan review): $75.00 per hour minimum

Other reimbursable expenses and expenses associated with out-of-town travel, if applicable, will be charged at cost. Mileage will be based on the current IRS standard mileage rate.

VonEye details how building permit fees work…

Hanten talks about connecting with Paisley and why it’s needed…

She continues, he will live in Spearfish and work remotely, and what will be his scope of work…

A delay of 30 days is estimated; currently the order allows up to 60 days, but VonEye doesn’t think it will ever get to that point. Councilor Mike Danforth also questioned liability and said he would take out insurance to cover any issues.

Councilman Glen Vilhauer said he has addressed some concerns about delays…

Vilhauer thanked Hanten for the explanation, stating, “I know there are always two sides to a story, and we always hear the negative ending to it.” He also asks how the funding works…

The deal was approved unanimously.