"Over the three years we've laid off a lot of people, including people in the planning department over last 12 months, business has really improved, people are buying homes there's activity over business and commercial property there's a need to have people to process permits maps," Brand said.
Members of the business community and those who work to bring business to Fresno told the City Council the additional personnel in planning, public works and the Fire Department are needed to get building projects inspected and approved in time for them to be financed and built.
Lee Ann Eage of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation told the council, "Right now there's not enough staff to make sure that we make those timelines."
And Developer Darius Assemi said improving the process would, "Remove government as an impediment for job creation knowing that we have over 25 thousand unemployed in the city of Fresno."
The plan calls for hiring eight employees, two in planning, two in public works and two in the fire department. Their salaries and benefits will cost the city nearly $1 million a year, but the expectation is those costs will be covered by the fees paid by the increased business opportunities the city will create with a streamlined process.
"So this is an investment in Fresno, these projects will generate jobs, property taxes sales taxes, economic activity," Brand said.
Preference will be given to qualified employees who were laid off, if they are interested.