The Jamestown City Council reviewed requests to add three additional city employees during a special budget meeting Thursday at City Hall.
Jamison Veil, city assessor, requested two employees be added to his department as appraisers.
Veil and a secretary currently make up the entire city assessor's staff. Along with being responsible for setting values of property for tax calculations, the department also works on special assessments for city projects.
"What we are now doing is just enough to get by," he said. "Just the bare minimum level."
Veil said additional staff would allow the department to perform routine reappraisals of property. Standards in the assessing industry call for reappraisals to be done every four to six years.
"Now, we're doing (appraisals) on new construction permits and sales," he said.
Additional staff would also allow the department to maintain more detailed statistical reports on how assessed values compare to actual sales prices for properties in Jamestown.
Tom Blackmore, Jamestown building inspector, requested another staff position to work as a city planner and to manage a planned geographic information system database for city infrastructure.
The GIS database would create a computerized system detailing the locations of city infrastructure such as water and sewer lines. It would be helpful to city officials attempting to locate utility problems and could be used by developers to determine where utility services are located.
Currently, the city of Jamestown contracts for planning services at a budgeted cost of $60,000 per year. If the city hires its own planner, the budget for consulting services would be lowered by $40,000 in the first year and possibly eliminated in future years, said Sarah Hellekson, city administrator.
Blackmore currently works with the consultants in the role of city planner as well as being the city's only building inspector.
"We are looking to do our jobs better," he said, referring to job requests from the building inspector's office and city assessor. "To do the job you are hired to do, it takes more bodies."
Thursday was the second day of special budget meetings by the City Council. Wednesday, the City Council reviewed a wage increase proposal calling for a 4% cost-of-living increase and a 2.5% step increase for city staff. Two additional budget meetings have been scheduled for 9 a.m. June 30 and July 1 at the City Council chambers in City Hall.
The council has not made any decisions but continues to review the proposals brought forward by Hellekson and other city employees. Preliminary budgets for all local governments must be approved by Aug. 10 with final budgets submitted to the Stutsman County Auditor's Office by Oct. 10 for property tax calculations.