County gets national honors for permitting

National Association of Counties (NACo)

By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Citrus County’s program titled “Express Permitting – the 43-Second Solution” has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the category of Information Technology. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.

NACo recognized Citrus County, Florida’s new line of e-government services, Express Permitting, which allows online self-service purchase of air conditioning (HVAC) change-out, electric service repair or replacement, reroof, window, and door replacement permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week for licensed contractors.

The online Express Permitting program has significantly cut county staff time, contractor time, and the time residents have to wait for the contractor services they need. The project was designed in-house, by Systems Management Senior Programmer, Jason Abreu, which saved the county consultation fees and the cost to purchase or develop software.

“This NACo award demonstrates that Citrus County is on the forefront of using innovative technology to provide the highest level of service in the most timely and cost effective manner to meet the needs of our customers and citizens.” said County Administrator Randy Oliver.

The Building Department continues to accept walk-in permit applications, while encouraging contractors to transition to the online portal. During the first six months of online Express Permitting implementation, the county tracked 50 percent fewer permits handled by staff in categories offered online. A fringe benefit has been that employees now have additional time to offer guidance to contractors who are applying for more complex permits such as nonresidential and multi-family.

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

NACo President Bryan Desloge said, “Counties overcome complex challenges, provide essential services and constantly do more with less. We applaud these Achievement Award-winning counties for outstanding efforts to improve residents’ quality of life.”

NACo will recognize award-winning counties at its 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition July 21–24 in Franklin County, Ohio. Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at Naco.org.