Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has received a “Best of Category” 2014 Achievement Award in the category of County Administration Management for its ePermits Apply Online Program from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
According to Montgomery County’s press release,
The program earned “Best in Category” status, according to NACo, due to its “exceptional results and unique innovations.”
“Congratulations to Diane Schwartz Jones and her entire staff for receiving this honor from the National Association of Counties,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “I applaud the hard work of the Department of Permitting Services in getting this program successfully launched. They have made major strides in streamlining operations, improving customer satisfaction and protecting the environment, and I am pleased that their efforts have been recognized.”
DPS launched its Apply Online Program (ePermits) in February 2013. Customers can apply online for electrical, residential, deck and, as of last week, commercial permits. Applications may be submitted from customers’ homes, offices or any other locations with internet service. The program improves service delivery for customers, makes permitting more accessible and convenient, improves use of diminished staff resources to meet increasing work volume and responsibilities, and conserves precious environmental resources by reducing paper consumption, vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.
In 2013, DPS issued 4,339 permits for new homes and residential additions. In just two months, 35 percent of applications for new home permits have been submitted as ePlans and 50 percent of all electrical permits issued were ePermits.
The electronic system is expected to yield the following annual benefits, assuming 3,000 ePermits reviewed and 12,000 ePlans issued:
- Reduce 312,000 miles in car trips to DPS;
- Save 20,800 gallons of gas;
- Save $71,760 in fuel costs;
- Avoid 12,480 hours of driving time;
- Elimiate 5,119 pounds of carbon monoxide and 1,993 pounds of hydrocarbons; and
- Save 239 trees, equivalent to 2,491,567 sheets of paper or 10 tons of paper.