Work Overload | VideoAlex Hagan | 10/8/2012
When a city is setting record numbers in building permits year in and year out, the city planner is bound to be busy.
"I have very little project time to do things. So I have to spend time in the evenings or on the weekends and try to get caught up," said City Planner Ed Courton.
Dickinson has had an increase of 120 percent in commercial permits and a 350 percent increase in single family units.
"The last two years were record years, so that should give you an idea of our very robust economy and the strain or the difficulty in order to address that," Courton.
Planning and engineering aren`t the only departments overworked. The solid waste department has had a 50 percent increase in trash pick-up, and the fire department has already had more calls for service than last year.
"We just see an influx of work coming through on the waste stream side of it as well as the other cities and communities that are bringing stuff into us," said Sanitation Manager Aaron Praus.
"The chance of something that is going to happen and that pager is going to go off is more likely than not today than it was three years ago," said Fire Chief Bob Sivak.
Employees are starting to get burned out.
"We have more than we can handle in a day, so we have to prioritize," Courton said.
"What was happening was there was a lot of overtime and yes, a lot of burned out employees," Praus said.
The only thing Courton says could lower the workload is a severe winter.
"A normal winter will slow things down and with that we`ll be able to get caught up."
If the work overload continues in Dickinson, City Engineer Soehren won`t be the last employee to call it quits. Soehren told city commission his last day will be October 15.