published on May 13, 2016 - 9:06 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
In an effort to streamline the delivery of services, Madera County is creating a new Office of Development Services, which will house the Department of Public Works, Department of Community and Economic Development and the newly established Department of Water and Natural Resources.

Norm Allinder, Madera County’s planning director since 2009, heads the office that launched earlier this month.

“I am honored to serve as the County’s newly established Chief of Development Services. Having Community and Economic Development, Public Works, and Water and Natural Resources under one roof will initiate critical dialogues among the County’s resource and development agencies, which will ultimately work to ensure the consistent delivery of services to our communities,” said Allinder in a statement.

Matthew Treber, who previously served as the Madera County deputy planning director, has assumed the role of director of Community and Economic Development, overseeing building, environmental health, fire prevention and planning.

As director of Public Works, Ahmad Alkhayyat will continue to oversee maintenance and operations, municipal services and capital improvement projects and its design and development subdivision.

To manage Water and Natural Resources, Julia Berry, longtime agricultural advocate and former executive director of the Madera County Farm Bureau, has also joined the team

The decision to create the Department of Water and Natural Resources largely stems from the enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by Governor Brown in September 2014. In what has been hailed as landmark legislation, SGMA enables local control of groundwater basins via the establishment of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency. SGMA also incentivizes and streamlines processes for critical water infrastructure, such as groundwater storage and recharge.

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