ST. JOSEPH - After rejecting the idea earlier this month, the St. Joseph city council approved the hiring of a community development director on Monday night.

The director will work on economic development and planning for the city. They will also develop marketing strategies and coordinate meetings for the EDA. St. Joseph has $95,000 available in its budget for the position next year.

City administrator Judy Weyrens says the job opening will be posted soon.

"We would anticipate having the job posted within the next two weeks and either interviewing sometime around the first of the year or at the end of the year. We would hope to have the staff person on board sometime in January."

The council approved the hiring by a 3-2 vote. Weyrens says council member Matt Killam originally voted against the position, but changed his mind after doing research on how nearby cities are using community development directors.

St. Joseph was paying $35,000 this year for an economic development consultant to do similar work for just one day a week. The consultant recently resigned for a new job and recommended the city hire a full-time development director.