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City hall slowdown

The number of building permits being requested in the city of Sunnyside has gone up significantly this year but the staff available to process those permits has been reduced. This is the reason a sign at city hall warns people that permits may take four to six weeks to process, regardless of the size or simplicity of the project. "There's only one guy doing all the permits, inspections and manning the counter," said Jamey Ayling of the city's planning department. "We had 52 permits last month, 48 the month before that. He also has to file the permits. It's a big workload." Andy Stamschror, the city's building inspector, said the situation has been difficult since last November when an administrative assistant left the employ of the city. Since then he's been handling all the paperwork and answering questions along with conducting plan reviews and inspections. "The four to six weeks timeline doesn't apply to every project," Stamschror said. "It's just those that require reviews and inspections, like additions and patio covers. Many projects people can simply pay the fee and get started." Ayling said that despite the workload, the city has been handling permits and providing information faster than the county. This has led some people living in the county to contact the city to get information, according to Ayling. "We have some folks call in to ask us about projects and whether they need permits," said Ayling. "They can't get a person who will answer their questions by calling the county. So that's an additional load on Andy's time."

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