The Town of Hawkesbury will be hiring soon.

Increased regulatory responsibilities and higher demand for services means two more employees will be added to the Technical Services Department staff. The department is responsible for reviewing all new building applications, inspections, site and subdivision plans and agreements, minor variances, zoning bylaw amendments and the Official Plan.

On April 11, council approved a recommendation to proceed with hiring a Deputy Chief Building Official and Administrative Coordinator for Technical Services.

According to a staff report, Hawkesbury has seen a significantly increased demand for planning and building services since 2021. Between 2018 and 2020, there were 18 Technical Services-related recommendations to council. Since 2021, there have been 43. There were 26 applications to the town under the Planning Act between 2018 and 2020. There have been 47 since 2021. Zero new housing units were proposed between 2018 and 2020 but 2,416 have been proposed since 2021. The number of new housing units approved between 2018 and 2020 was just 20. Since 2021, 346 have been approved.

Building permit activity in Hawkesbury has also increased significantly during the past two years. The town received 511 permit applications between 2018 and 2020 but 608 applications have been received since 2021. The town issued 455 building permits between 2018 and 2020, but 532 permits have been issued since 2021.

Chief Administrative Officer Samuel Cardarelli said the needs of the department have increased, along with the necessity to accommodate the paperwork required to build more housing.

“Red tape is problematic,” he remarked.

“This is a problem for all municipalities,” commented Mayor Robert Lefebvre.

The cost of adding the two new Technical Services positions is about $50,000 for 2023. Half of the amount will be financed through a reserve. The difference will be financed by department fee revenues. The 2024 budget will be adjusted to reflect the addition of the two positions.