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A plan to add 41 staff to the Dunedin City Council payroll is in part due to residents asking more of their council, Mayor Dave Culls says.
In its annual plan, the council is proposing to increase the amount it spends on staff by $4.95million to $64.96million in the next financial year.
As well as general increases across all salaries, there is an addition of 41 fulltime equivalent (FTE) jobs.
In a report, which will be debated by councillors at a meeting on the plan today, the increase is attributed to more in-sourcing of services, delivery of new operational and capital projects and replacing consultants with council staff.
It is a mixture of fixed term and permanent positions and many of the roles are fully cost-recoverable or offset by savings in other areas of the budget, the report says.
There are nine new roles proposed for the building services department, which would stop the need for the outsourcing of building consents and help manage the increasing volume of consents, inspections and code of compliance certificates.
If adopted, the increase means the council will be able to process building consents for other councils, covering the cost of the staffing increase.
There are also planned increases for the transport department and the business information services area (five FTEs) to help deliver both capital and operational projects such as replacing the city's 15,000 street lights.
A correction to the aquatic services budget to more accurately reflect the actual staffing levels meant eight roles would now be covered across all of the pool facilities.
Other increases come in the service delivery, risk and compliance and project management areas.
Mr Cull said some of the increases were due to the council increasing its spending and ratepayers expecting more.
In previous years, the council had essentially frozen expenditure which was not totally necessary, but those projects could not be put off forever, Mr Cull said.
As the city grew, the council needed to invest more to ease the pressure of the growth, he said.
"You can't keep putting off renewals and in addition to that, as the city grows, you also have to invest more in the infrastructure needed to cope with that growth.''
Any time the council took on more staff it had to ensure they were required and an investment in good staff meant value for money for ratepayers, he said.