Steamboat Springs Most of the city's departments can probably think of a few extra people they could use around the office, if only to take up the slack when things get too hectic.
The departments that may actually get their staffing needs met under the 2001 budget, however, have been operating without critical personnel for quite some time.
Personnel costs account for 33 percent of the city's proposed $34.39 million 2001 budget.
Fire Marshal Jay Muhme, who inspects buildings for fire safety compliance, is hoping to hire a new fire inspector in the next fiscal year.
"In terms of fire protection, we've had just the fire marshal and myself for the last couple of years," Fire Inspector Jim Cooley said.
The fire prevention program has more than 1,600 buildings in its database, Cooley said. With only two inspectors for both old buildings and new developments, the program is being taxed to its limit. The two must enforce the Uniform Fire Code to make sure the buildings in Steamboat are fire-safe.
"If we work on prevention, we can keep our fires way down in Steamboat. Prevention is definitely our best medicine," Cooley said.
The city is also looking to hire an information services supervisor who would oversee the city's computer system. The system, which is almost fully integrated and contains a number of remote sites, will be taxed even further when Centennial Hall opens for business next year.
"The need for this job has really been caused by growth," Human Resources Manager John Thrasher said.
The city employs two full-time computer technicians, who are responsible for seven networks and as many as 200 users. The computer personnel are supported by an internal service charge assessed against each department in the city.
The Parks and Recreation Department wants to hire an open space supervisor to oversee the city's open space and trails system. The supervisor would serve at the same level as the existing parks supervisor.
"Due to the amount of open space areas that we have been acquiring, as the use of these properties has increased, we're finding that we need to do a better job of working with the various volunteer groups lessees and the public to manage the parcels," said Chris Wilson, the director of the parks and recreation department.
The city recently helped put together the Legacy Ranch Project, which brought public and private groups together to preserve a 4,00-acre tract of open space at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Colo. 131. Wilson said that the department is planning to build trails throughout the property.
Wilson has lobbied unsuccessfully for the position for two years but is hopeful it will get funded in 2001.
The city is also hoping to finance two part-time clerical staff and a custodian for City Hall and Centennial Hall. In other departments, positions have been modified from part-time to full-time to attract more permanent employees.
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