Officials say cuts in community development department reflect challenging economy

Beaverton's Community Development Department announced Thursday that five full-time positions would be eliminated from the Building Services Division effective July 1.

'This reduction in force is due to decreased revenue projections from permit fees and a direct reflection of the current economic trends in the housing industry nationwide,' said Mayor Rob Drake.

U. S. Census Bureau figures indicate that from December 2007 to date, residential building permits in Washington County have experienced a decrease of 33.1 percent from previous years.

'We hope we never have to give this kind of news to our employees, but the indicators reflect some difficult times ahead,' Drake said. 'We wanted to be sure and give plenty of notice so that the affected employees can find other employment either here at the city or in other organizations.'

Building permit fees constitute a stand-alone fund that provides services based on the revenues generated. Most of the budget is personnel services so the decline in building revenues requires a proportionate decrease in operating expenses, city officials said.

The Building Division has a full-time staff of 23 positions and will continue to provide all building inspection, plan examination and fire/life safety inspection services following the layoffs.

'Our goal is to continue to provide high quality service to ensure that our citizens and developers can get their projects completed in a timely fashion,' Drake said.

City managers are working closely with employees to find suitable job placements within the city, said Janice Deardorff, assistant to the mayor.

Due to existing vacancies, three employees are likely to be placed in vacant city jobs on July 1.

Two employees will be laid off, Deardorff said. One position is already vacant due to attrition.

There are no plans for staff reductions in other departments.

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