WAITE PARK -- Waite Park will soon be taking applications for a new staff position.

During this (Monday) evening's city council meeting the board unanimously approved the addition of a Planning and Community Development director.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says the hiring of this position has been in the works since the retirement of building inspector Bill Barber in October.

The Planning and Community Development director would be in charge of handling the planning and zoning as well as the economic development needs of the city.

Johnson says the hiring of the position would allow other city employees to lighten their workload after trying to fill the gap that was left in Barber's absence.

Sauk Rapids, Sartell and St. Cloud currently have a Planning and Community Development director on their staff.

The position would pay about $60,000 to $78,000 per year and has already been budgeted for 2015.

Johnson says they are looking to begin interviews by February and officially hire someone soon after.