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Additional staff to focus on improved service, public safety response in Fort Worth

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Sep 16, 2022 - 03:54 AM

To help keep pace with Fort Worth’s growth, the City is adding new employees to continue to provide excellent customer service across all departments and enhance existing services. The main goal is to ensure Fort Worth is a safe and clean community for everyone.

The City’s Development Services department is getting one of the largest staffing increases outside of public safety, with 38 new positions in the proposed budget. The city’s population growth has led to a large increase in new construction projects – managing such projects is one way the department strives to help ensure Fort Worth is among the most livable cities in Texas.

“With more companies and people moving to Fort Worth, development within the city continues to grow,” said D.J. Harrell, who leads the Development Services Department. “Development Services has a responsibility to guide that growth in a timely and responsible manner, and more staff is a necessity to keep up with this increase in demand.”

Building permits skyrocket

Building permits show the trend, increasing more than 84% in the last decade. Most of the growth has come from new-home construction. Even amid pandemic concerns in 2020, the City issued 12,788 residential permits, a number that grew to 15,085 in 2021. In 2022, new-home permits are expected to hit 15,890 by the end of September.

The department touches several aspects of daily life in Fort Worth. That includes overall goals such as safety, public health, environmental stewardship and orderly development, Harrell said. Those aspects are guided through infrastructure and transportation review, building plan review and inspections, zoning and preservation management, among other functions.

“Our goal is to provide a more robust customer-focused service, which translates into the need for additional staff throughout all the various divisions in the department,” Harrell said.

Public safety, other personnel increases

Other City departments requesting additional staff in the proposed budget:

Police Department: 54 sworn officers plus 15 civilian positions (11 for support and four for evidence processing).

Fire Department: 14 civil service positions to staff an engine company; two additional positions for the homeless outreach team; and seven civilian support staff.

Park & Recreation: Reduced 16 positions by consolidating part-time to full-time; added 12 positions; added 12 positions for afterschool and youth sports programs; and added 31 grant-funded positions for the Fort Worth ISD afterschool program.

Library: Adding 14 positions to staff a new library in far southwest Fort Worth, slated to open in 2023.

Transportation & Public Works: Adding 11 positions to improve response time to repair street lights; one inspector for right-of-way utility installations; and two positions to manage asset database and safety and compliance.

Code Compliance: Adding seven positions to help regulate high-density multifamily rental properties across the city.

Source: CITY OF FORT WORTH

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