With construction at its slowest in at least 10 years, Stanislaus County leaders Tuesday will consider laying off four more building division workers.
Meanwhile, consultants continue studying whether that division could merge with Modesto's building department. Both issue permits and conduct inspections, and the agencies share a floor in the city-county administration building at Tenth Street Place.
The county's building division had 34 employees in 2005, when the agency issued nearly 4,000 permits for unincorporated areas. Fewer than 1,800 have been issued in the fiscal year that ends June 30, and the county eliminated 12 jobs in 2008 plus four in 2009.
If county supervisors agree Tuesday to lay off four more, the division will have dropped from 34 to 14 employees since the recession began smacking the Central Valley, producing a glut of foreclosed homes and decimating construction.
Letting go two building inspectors, a senior engineering technician and an application specialist should save the division, which is supposed to support itself with revenue from services, about $395,000 per year, according to a report.
The four might find jobs elsewhere in the county's 26 other departments, but most have a hiring freeze.
If Tuesday's reduction is approved, the county will have eliminated 642 positions in about 30 months.
Matrix Consulting Group's recommendations on joining forces with Modesto's building department should be ready next month, a report says.
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St., Modesto.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2390.