FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
City of Ridgefield, Washington Launches New Permitting System
Press Contact Information:
Kay Kammer, Communications Director/City Clerk
Ridgefield, WA, September 6, 2005 - The City of Ridgefield, WA announced that it launched its new electronic permitting system for the processing of building permits and planning and engineering review services.
During the years of 2000 through 2003, the City averaged 15 new residential permits per year. In 2004, permits processed increased over 1300% for a total of 206, The City expects to process 300 to 350 permits in 2005 and estimate that 350 to 400 will be processed in 2006 with this trend continuing in the future. The City currently has 1400 approved residential lots and another 200 have been applied for as of August, 2005. Under review or approved are also 30 industrial lots.
The City’s new system will improve efficiencies by allowing for enhanced reporting mechanisms that will no longer have to be created manually such as impact fees and reports required by the State of Washington. The system automatically interfaces with the in-house Accounting system deleting the need for labor-intensive financial data entry. Staff will have the ability to track timelines and permit status all along the way.
The City purchased the permitting software from Interlocking Software, a Poulsbo, Washington based company. The cost of the new system was approximately $34,000.00 and it is expected that the system will pay for itself within the next few years due to the increase in staff workload efficiencies and reduction of manual entries.
The conversion on August 22, 2005 went off without a hitch as it interfaced perfectly the first time with the accounting system. This undertaking was completed with partnerships of Gary Frank and Bert Smith from Interlocking Software, the Community Development, Public Works and Finance Department commitments of excellence. Instrumental in the conversion was Lindsay Warren, Accountant I, Jim Perry, Building Official, Kevin Snyder, Community Development Director and Tara Erickson, Consultant.
George Fox, City Manager, said “Each new system that is put into place is another part of the on-going effort to update and modernize the services to citizens and customers. We recognize the need to provide services in the most efficient and most effective manner possible”.
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The City of Ridgefield, incorporated in 1909, is a rapidly growing community located in northern Clark County, Washington approximately 10 miles north of Vancouver, Washington. Over the next 10 to 15 years, the City of Ridgefield expects to grow to a population of over 24,700 persons with an employment base of over 15,000 jobs. The City has adopted a Council-City Manager form of government. The City Manager acts as the chief executive officer of the City overseeing daily operations, annual budget development and implementation, and personnel. The City Manager works with a management team composed of the Director of Communications/City Clerk, Director of Finance and Administration, the Community Development Director, the Public Works Director and the Police Chief to insure that community services are provided and that the policy directives of the City Council are carried out in the most efficient manner possible.