FORT WAYNE – The joint city and county permitting board on Friday named its new ombudsman to help mediate disputes that arise during the process.
The board announced Colonial Development of Fort Wayne will begin work immediately with Craig Yoder, vice president of the company, leading the effort.
The company was hired to fill the spot of civil engineer Michael Diamente of Abonmarche Consultants Inc., who left the position last week to move to Indianapolis. Colonial was in the process of being interviewed as a backup to Diamente, but was given the full contract
Allen County Councilman Roy Buskirk, R-at large, declined to release how much Yoder will be paid, only saying he would work as needed. Buskirk, who leads the joint board, also would not release Yoders hourly rate. City Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, said the pay would be similar to what was given Diamente. Jehl also serves on the committee.
Yoder worked for the city of Glendale, Ariz., for five years and for private development in Arizona and California before coming to Fort Wayne in 1993. His work with Colonial includes development of the Autumn Ridge and Cherry Hill golf courses.
The city and county last year approved a combined $1.4 million to help improve the permitting process to make it easier for developers to do business here. The ombudsmans role was to help lead large projects through the process and to help mediate disputes.
Some projects, according to the board, must go through up to 20 different city and county departments.
Outside the ombudsman, the city and county hired Briljent LLC as project manager for $285,420 and Clarion Associates to help streamline permitting legislation for $169,760.