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Rincon to add to planning staff
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Rincon may be adding to its city staff in the next few months, after city council members approved a job description for a community development planner.

Council members approved adding the position during their budget process and now have approved the job itself.

The new position will carry a requirement of a master’s degree and two years of experience, with a base starting salary of $35,000 a year. Council member Paul Wendelken questioned if the proposed compensation package would be enough to attract qualified candidates.

“We can get someone with a master’s and two years of experience for that?” he asked. “I wouldn’t go for that master’s.”

City planner Lameisha Kelly said the community development planner would assist with such tasks as the comprehensive plan update scheduled for this fall.

“It is the most extensive thing in this position,” she said.

The new person also will enable the city to pursue more funding sources, according to Kelly.

“One thing we want to do is an urban development plan,” she said. “That is an extensive process that will enable us to open opportunity zones, which would lead to job credits.”

The new community development planner also would be one of the site plan reviewers. City Manager Wesley Corbitt said the person would work closely with contractors and developers.

“We talked about how this person would need to be a people person,” he said.

Wendelken also wondered if the city could afford the position.

“I hope we can make it work financially,” he said. “We just spent $68,000 from the general fund that wasn’t budgeted. And No. 2, can we keep them busy enough with what we need them to do?”

Kelly said there is a lot that has to be done behind the scenes that will keep the new community development planner occupied.

“That’s part of the growing pains,” she said.

Kelly said she’s also hoping to get somebody who has GIS knowledge and then can keep track of the city’s infrastructure.

Council member James Dasher said adding the position could allow Kelly to go after more grants, and council member Levi Scott alluded to having another set of eyes on plans could benefit the city.

“I’d like to see what change orders have cost us on these projects in the last 12 months,” he said.