Interning with the City of Burnsville has been an extremely rewarding experience. Working with the Planning and Community Development departments allowed me to utilize my skills and knowledge developed from college. At the same time, I obtained new and necessary skills that are essential in the local government workplace. Before working with the Planning and Community Development departments, I didn’t have that much knowledge as to what kind of work staff did.
My time here consisted of sitting in on meetings with developers and business owners as well as working independently on projects and tasks assigned to me. I learned how closely the city staff works with community members and works hard to make the city a welcoming and ideal place to live and work. One of the many things that I admired most about the work environment at Burnsville was that many of the departments overlap and work together closely. I was exposed to various departments and gained insights into how local government works. It’s not just one department doing all of the work, each department plays a role in the success of the city.
Two projects that I worked on at the same time was researching city codes of other metro cities and what they mention in their codes about banner signs and fence materials. These items were brought to the Planning and Community Development departments and went under review to consider ordinance changes. The process involved creating spreadsheets containing data gathered, writing staff reports and presenting information to the Planning Commission. To gain additional input, the banner sign item will also be presented to the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Commission.
Another project I was given the opportunity to work on was the reviewing of proposed plans for a retaining wall that required a Conditional Use Permit. My responsibility was to look over the site plans and respond to the developer with comments and recommendations of what needed to be clarified on the site plans, in order to move forward in the review process.
I also worked on searching for available properties in Burnsville. This project helped to update the city’s business website page, providing available properties in Burnsville to help attract businesses to the city.
I’m grateful for been given the chance to work for a local government and further my understanding of what city planners do on a daily basis and the type of projects they work on. Working closely with my supervisor gave me the confidence and comfort in asking for help and additional items to work on.
Ironic as it sounds, the Community Development department really acted and worked with one another like a very tight-knit community. My time with the City of Burnsville has been worthwhile, as I was given warm welcomes and treated with respect, I felt as though I was truly part of the department.