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City Council Wrap Up: Opening positions

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The Sequim City Council approved the creation of two new positions within the city government Monday night, as well as acquiring the rights of way to potentially develop land in Carrie Blake Park.

 

Councilors agreed to fund a permanent information technology position within the city government at the recommendation of Presidio, a national consulting agency focusing on information technology. The city’s existing IT coverage is insufficient to provide enough assistance for the city’s IT needs, city officials said.

The new IT job will be an entry level position with benefits and will focus on routine maintenance, updates, training and wireless infrastructure. Applicants will need to have experience in routine computer maintenance, explaining and teaching new technology, and supporting and maintaining law enforcement software.

 

In a report by Elray Konkel, the position is expected to cost the city $59,500 annually, half that number for the remainder of 2013. Konkel expects to finance the position through his department’s budget, but if he can’t, he plans to pay for it with the general fund’s contingency budget, leaving the fund at $20,000.

 

Counselors initially were worried about the necessity of the position and Councilor Genaveve Starr questioned whether or not the position could be filled by a contracted professional to reduce the costs to taxpayers, but Miller and Dubois convinced her otherwise. “I always ask, ‘Could we contract this out,’” said City Manager Steve Burkett, “and Elray and I came to the conclusion that we couldn’t.”
Councilors also created a position within public works, a three-year position water resource employee. According to a report prepared by city engineer Paul Haines, the stormwater management assessment project has grown to the point where an employee more familiar with the

Sequim’s water resource issues would be preferred to an outside contractor.

 

Haines expects the employee to cost the city $100,000 per year, with a term to run from mid-2013 to 2016.

 

Applicants will need to have qualifications relevant to stormwater management, such as civil engineers or geologists, as well as four years of work with or within governments.

 

For the next three years, the water resource employee would design a stormwater management plan and water rights plans, as well as ways to better manage existing stormwater infrastructure around the county.
Councilors also voted to acquire a strip of property south of Carrie Blake Park for installation of a road and utilities in the future. The $13,050 cost will be apportioned among the roads, sewer and water funds.

The city also has submitted two grants for the county’s Economic Opportunity Development Fund, Burkett said.

 

 The grants, which total $2.6 million, will help pay for street improvements at Prairie Street and Sunnyside Avenue on the Burrows property, along with size renovations to the Guy Cole Center to make it more attractive as an event center and community space.

 

Neither grant has been considered yet, but counselors and city staff hope to get a slice of the fund’s pie.

“Sequim hasn’t gotten any projects,” said Burkett, “and we certainly have projects that would qualify as far as creating economic opportunity in the county.”

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