Posted: Mar 19, 2012 10:07 AM by Dennis Bragg (KPAX/KAJ Media Center)
Updated: Mar 19, 2012 10:07 AM
MISSOULA- Missoula city and county leaders are poised to approve an agreement this week that will start the process of splitting up the Office of Planning and Grants, dividing the organization for efficiency and better service.
Missoula Mayor John Engen has been pressing for dissolution of the joint city-county department for several years, most recently building on a study which he says shows the need to streamline the local planning and permit process.
Both the city and the county have been discussing the idea for several weeks, and although not all of the questions have been answered, leaders for both agencies say they're ready to take the next step.
The Missoula County commissioners and Missoula City Council members will consider a joint resolution this week which says both agencies are ready to amend the 2005 interlocal agreement that spelled out details of OPG's operations. On Wednesday, the council's Committee of the Whole will discuss the resolution and the next steps in setting up the proposed Development Services Office.
City officials say there are still many details to be worked out to complete the transition, especially with staffing and funding. But the joint resolution is a formality so both the city and county have formal notice that changes are coming.