New team takes aim at better customer service for developers

SOUTH DUNDAS – Over the years, South Dundas has developed a reputation of not being development friendly.

No matter what the basis for that label was, South Dundas municipal staff have put in place a new, more formal internal entity to change that reputation.

“It’s really all about providing excellent customer service to our development clients,” said Rob Hunter who is leading the effort.

This excellent customer service will come, “through communication, collaboration and cooperation,” said Hunter in a key information report to council about the new Development Review Team which is “committed to building a great community.”

The team’s purpose is to create a collaborative culture with developers by having all of the relevant municipal departments at the table for open dialogue.

Getting everyone together at the same table at the same time provides an informal mechanism to ensure communication between the municipality and its clients.

This committee only acts as liaison, having no formal decision-making or approval authority. That authority rests with council.

The Development Review Team is comprised of the following municipal officials or representatives: chief administrative officer, economic development officer, planning representative, chief building official, director of transportation, water/sewer supervisor, director of fire and emergency services.

“Our hope is that customers have all the answers/direction they need when they leave this building,” said CAO Shannon Geraghty. “It’s a step in the right direction.

“I am thrilled,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner.

“It’s about breaking down those silos,” said Geraghty.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds was also positive about the team.

“We want to be proactive and get the word out that we are not a nightmare. We’re here to work with you,” he said.

At last week’s economic development advisory committee meeting that group was pleased to hear about these efforts.

One of the developers that the Development Review Team will be meeting with will be those overseeing the $15 million Ross Video expansion project that is in the works.

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