Danville Starts Urban Services Department
By Jeff Bossert
The mayor of Danville says a new city position will organize the way in which it works with developers.
Wednesday marks the first day that city engineer David Schnelle is in his new role as Urban Services Director.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said in the past decade, Danville has not been in a position to have one person or department to handle new retail development, such as the city’s new Kohl’s and Meijer's stores, restaurant locations, or expansion of existing sites.
He said it is a matter of efficiency to have one department oversee all economic development.
"For example, if somebody were to send a site plan to the city to do work, it actually ended up going to four different departments," he said. "Not to say that didn't work, but it certainly didn't work as effectively or as efficiently as I think it certainly could."
Schnelle will still maintain his engineering duties, but will also oversee areas like zoning and planning, and building inspection.
While construction is underway on some projects, Eisenhauer said there areas along North Vermilion and Main Streets that need such a person in place.
"As we start looking at expansion of retail and restaurants, where are some logical places in our community where they can go and should go, and how do we put ourselves in a better position to attract those?" he said. "We have some great development going on right now, we have some we know will be going on in the next six to 12 months."
The reorganization of city departments approved by the Danville City Council last week makes Schnelle the city's highest-paid employee at $105,000 annually.
Although he is at the top of the city payroll, Eisenhauer said that is misleading, since Schnelle is not eligible for overtime.