The City of Georgetown no longer has a Building and Planning Department but will soon have someone inside City Hall trying to convince businesses to locate here.
At its monthly meeting Thursday, City Council gave second reading approval to a recommendation by interim Administrator Carey Smith to replace that department with a new one which is called the Department of Planning and Economic Development.
Now the city will begin the search to hire someone to head the new department.
The Building and Planning Department has been with- out a named director since Elizabeth Tucker resigned in mid-May. Smith said the new department will be used to carry on the tasks of Building and Planning but will also be used to promote the city.
Smith says the creation of the new position is a step in the right direction because whoever is hired will spend a portion of their day looking for ways to try to attract new businesses to the city, something that was not part of the duties of previous leaders of the Building and Planning Department.
This is a position Mayor Jack Scoville has been pushing to have established since he was elected in 2009.
In June 2011, he offered a motion to hire an economic development director but his motion failed. At that time, the city had a Building and Planning director. The funds for the new position will come from money that had been set aside for an assistant city administrator, a position that will not be created because of the new department.
Scoville said the new employee — who would answer to the city administrator — would look at all areas such as retail, manufacturing, and tourism.
By Scott Harper
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