Fort Smith splits development services department, promotes Deer and Rice

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (Talk Business) — In a move to streamline management and provide better customer service, the city of Fort Smith has split the Department of Development Services into two departments.

The move was made as City Administrator Carl Geffken worked to fill the department head position for development services left when Wally Bailey, who had worked under six Fort Smith city administrators, retired from the position in June to become Van Buren’s director of planning.

The old department included four offices: Planning and zoning, building safety, community development and neighborhood services. The reorganization will divide things the Department of Development Services will include planning and zoning and community development, while the new Department of Building Services will include building safety and neighborhood services, Geffken said in a media release.

“This one department, the old Development Services, did everything from managing land-use policies to issuing building permits to overseeing CDBG grants to writing citations for code violations,” said Geffken said, noting it was too much responsibility for one office.

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