Since Doug Mulhall began working at the City of Weyburn in July of 1984, starting out as an assistant in the Building department, he has seen the development of some 22 new streets and about 1,400 new dwelling units, just over a quarter of the properties currently existing in the city.
The pace of construction is busily pressing ahead this year, but nonetheless he will pass his duties on to someone else as Mulhall ends his nearly-29-year career on June 15 as the chief building inspector and development officer for the City of Weyburn.
Looking back on his years with the city, he noted he worked in construction for a decade with the Swertz Brothers before applying to the city for a job.
As Mulhall deals with a lot of numbers in his job, he kept statistics on the various aspects of his work, and passed on the following numbers: in his career with the city, as of the end of April, he's issued permits for 3,932 projects worth a collective $391.2 million, and which created 1,418 new dwelling units, the equivalent of adding 22 new streets to the City.
In this time also he's seen eight mayors, six police chiefs, five fire chiefs and three city managers.
"It's been really interesting for me personally. It's been an honour and a privilege to work for the citizens of Weyburn, and ultimately that's who I've been working for," said Mulhall, noting the city continues to be a very busy place today with over 4,000 buildings to be looked after under the purview of the Building department.
The department issues on average between 180 and 200 building permits a year, he said. In 2010, the city set a record with $41.4 million of new construction, but then in 2011 that record was jumped up to over $70 million.
The number and size of projects is increasing, with anywhere from two to four projects starting up each week on average, which is almost a new project every day, he said.
"There's been quite a few interesting projects as those years have gone by. In some ways, these projects tend to shape the look and feel of the community," he said, and noted with pride some of the larger projects he's been involved with over the years.
The bigger ones he's overseen ranged from Assiniboia Park School to Tatagwa View long-term care centre, the expansion of the Nexans plant, new stores for Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, the Ramada and Canalta Hotels, and most recently the Travelodge expansion, as well as the Comp renovation and expansion.
Some of the city projects, such as the multi-phase renovations to the two ice rinks and to the new City Hall, were controversial, said Mulhall, but he felt they have all contributed to the overall image of the city as a good place to live and do business, especially with the City Hall work.
"The look and feel of City Hall has an impact on the business ongoing here. It made good economic sense, and it's helped us project a professional image as we portray the city when we have visitors come here wanting to do business in our city," said Mulhall, noting with pride the city won the premier's award for architectural design for the work they did there.
For the last decade or so, Mulhall has been the city's chief building official, licenced by the province to inspect major building projects; in addition, as development officer, he oversees the zoning bylaw, and when changes to it are requested, he has to investigate to see if it's in the best interest of the city's development, and whether amending the bylaw is workable.
As the manager of community services, his focus is in planning, and issues subdivision approvals as they come up, as well as working with the District Planning Commission.
"Because we're a small community, I get to have involvement with a wide range of things," said Mulhall.
"I feel very good with what we've accomplished in the city. It's been very busy of late … but when you feel you want to leave, you want to do it at a high point. It's time for me to step back. Judy and I have a new grand-baby, and we want to spend more time on that side of life. I leave with mixed emotions, because I've really enjoyed work and the people I work with are tremendous," said Mulhall.
"I've been lucky to work here, and I'm going to miss working with the people here," he added.
On a professional level, Mulhall has worked with the province to help develop licence criteria, and worked with the Professional Building Officials Association (including a term as president), and through them helped develop the basis for national standards for building officials.
To show where Mulhall stands in the province amongst building officials, his licence from the province has the number "1" on it, as he was the first in Saskatchewan to be so licensed.
He also has national certification in recognition of his qualifications, from the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Associations.
Asked what he's going to miss about his work at the city, Mulhall replied, "I enjoy working with people who want to develop projects; I'm going to miss that. Mostly I'm going to miss coming in the back door day-to-day and catching up with the news of the people I work with."
He notes he is excited about the coming development on the Souris Valley grounds, and hopes to see that come to fruition and succeed.
"I feel with projects that as much as we like to hang on to the past, you can't always. Buildings are like people; they have a life span. I really do believe that in 10 years I'll be walking down a street there with my granddaughter," said Mulhall, who also feels there will be much more development north of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street as well, and development will be along the lines of multiple-family dwellings more so than single-family dwellings.