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Park City Building Department Working Through Projects, Despite Vacancies

Park City Chief Building Official Dave Thacker has noted a slight increase in the number of building permits from last year. He’s excited for the construction that’s coming up—despite being a little short-staffed. 

Thacker says Utah’s job market for building inspectors is facing a high demand. The Park City Building Department has had challenges filling those positions, but Thacker says the department is making progress. There are four inspectors on staff who have come up through the ranks at the City—as well as an incoming employee.

"We’ve been able to hire a new inspector, who has about 15 years of experience, and who will be coming on later this week that we're excited to be able to work with a little bit more," Thacker said. "And we've got an open application currently, and we’ll be doing a recruitment here shortly probably early to mid next week."

Additionally, the department will soon be looking for a new deputy chief building official. Park City Deputy Chief Building Official Michelle Downard, who has worked for the City in different capacities since 2004, has taken on the role of resident advocate, a new City position intended to guide residents through complicated government processes. Thacker says Downard will still be working with the City’s Community Development Department.

"We understand that our process can be a little bit challenging at times, especially if you're not used to it," Thacker said. "So she'll be there to help with that process and be able to walk a lot of our customers through any process throughout the City, and then she will also work with staff internally to help us as we need it throughout the year."

As for the city engineer position, which has been open since Fall 2018, Thacker says contracted engineering services and city staff have been filling the gaps. Recruitment for that position will likely begin again in the summer.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.