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Planning Budgets

poncho

Cyburbian
Messages
96
Points
4
I am writing a proposal to create a position for County Planner and am curious about a Preliminary budget. I have seen the thread about the Coummunity Dev. Department on this board already.

I am just wondering what are the little things I am likely to forget in the budget process? How much do I budget for education, APA dues etc.? Thanks, any input is appreciated.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
Training, dues, etc can soak up more money than you think. A fair budget will pay APA/AICP dues and allow your planner to participate in your state or regional APA Chapter or planning association meetings. Even in a small state where travel is relatively inexpensive, that is going to take at least $1500. If you want to attract a really experienced person, they will probably expect some training opportunities as well. I wouldn't want to budget less than $3000.

If it is a new planning department don't forget a library budget. Most planners are not able to afford basic references (which can be quite expensive) as part of their personal library. When I was consulting and keeping references like the ITE trip generation manual up-to-date, I spent $2000 a year on my library and sometimes felt that wasn't enough.
 

poncho

Cyburbian
Messages
96
Points
4
Yes it is a new Planning department and the planning library is just one of the things I didn't think about. I know there is plenty more I am not considering.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
One more thing. Space. Planning offices have to be larger than the average. You have to be able to roll out a big map or a set of plans on a table. You have to have quiet space for meetings with applicants, etc.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Assuming the Planner will be putting together a planning office from scratch, do not underestimate the office furnishings, equipment and supplies costs.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Planners need specialized equipment and office supplies. Think of things like a large table, drafting table, plotter, GIS or CAD and Photoshop, easels, crayolas, beer....You can't get by with just a cubicle and a desk with a computer running Microsoft on top of it. You might also want to consider a budget for printing, if you will be creating new forms for departmental use, or publications that will result from the work of the new position.
 

ebeech121

Cyburbian
Messages
83
Points
4
Cardinal said:
You can't get by with just a cubicle and a desk with a computer running Microsoft on top of it.

But maybe you can with a desk, a computer running Mac OS and a beer? Just kidding.

I'm not an official planner, but don't forget to budget the "good" office supplies like coffee and pizza.

;)
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
some of the oft-forgotted essentials, IMHO:

Digital Camera
Scanner
Photoshop
Mileage reimbursement
The general supply budget - increase a prorated equivalent to staff level
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
You'll probably need a big scanner, too--plotter-size--for reducing the full-size plans that will come in. Very handy. And there are also all the little things, like scales, Sharpies, calculators....Palm Pilots are handy for having the ordinances with you at all times, saving mileage, and scheduling meetings, although they aren't essential. And I can't stress the importance of coffee too much. Also, a phone that has caller ID is a great thing.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Palm Pilots and Rugers. Along with the ordinances, your planners should be enabled to carry ornance with them.
 

poncho

Cyburbian
Messages
96
Points
4
Thanks for all of the suggestions, now for the essentials. Just so I can CYA what are the larger essential items every planner must have? Yes, beer is already in the budget. :-}
 
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