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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

County Development Services Numbers

How far have the numbers nosedived for development in Canyon County?

The Guardian has obtained some startling numbers via public records requests and will share them with you.

Canyon County Development Services Department currently employs sixteen people on a full time basis. (Seven people were laid off earlier this year.) They also have a contract employee they have paid $94,300 for through the end of April 2009. This works out to $13,714.00 per month for seven months of this fiscal year for contract services in addition to what is budgeted for employees.

At the peak of the construction boom they were taking in $191,000 for the month of November 2006 in fees for building permits. This year the numbers are abysmal. Permit fees collected by Canyon County Development Services as of 4/15/09 amount to $270.00!

DSD managers budged to collect $80k/month in fees for services fiscal 2009. The reality is about $30k/month or 37% of what was projected. Fiscal 2009 has generated a paltry $211K YTD.

Fiscal 2007 generated $1,198,710.00 in fees for services. Business is off by 80% this year from the all time highs of 2007.

How long can the bleeding go on before some drastic actions are teken to bring this department in line with the revenue they are generating? They budgeted $80k per month in revenue or $560k YTD

According to the County Assessor housing valuations have decreased by 30% in 2008 and another 11% in 2009. It will be interesting to see what happens to property taxes this year when we get our new valuation notices in June 2009.

We have a boom and bust cycle in Canyon County. Elected officials are in denial about it and hope prosperity is just around the corner. Let's hope they are right.

Budget time in August this year will surely be painful for cities and Canyon County when they will be forced by law to balance their budgets.


  1. Did you know that 7 people were laid off in February?

  2. Seven is a good start sounds like about 12 more need to go. It's a matter of economics and not that taxpayers should keep them on if there is no work to generate immediate income. As a taxpayer I do not want to pay for busy work.

  3. Dear Guardian: In business, we look for return on investment and spending money to increase effectiveness. To balance budgets with revenue stream, takes guts and integrity. The first to go to help on the budget is the PR person at $100k per year with all perks and benefits. The planning and zoning or Development Services Department needs to reflect the reality of a tuff recession that will not rebound for at least a decade (look at post vietnam fiscal recession history). Government ain't cheap, police and fire earn their keep, but the rest is on the chopping block. Thanks for the info, godell, 250-5229

  4. I think your figures are wrong. There's been more than 250 collected.

  5. Glenn, everything is on the copping block. Fire and police are no different. You need to look at efficiency across the board. If it were a private enterprise want would be done if you needed to make money, you start there. All government agencies have a tendency to become top heavy i.e. to many chiefs for the number of indians. I agree with everything else you have said.


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