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Governor Gregoire Announces Grants to Help Businesses Track Permits

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2007

Cities and counties prepared to track permits and better manage growth

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today announced $175,000 in grants to support local government efforts to develop electronic permit tracking systems. The tracking system will allow businesses and local leaders to find timely information about the status of land use and development projects in Washington.

“These grants will help local communities streamline permitting processes and give businesses the timely information they need to be successful. Having easy access to reliable information about the status of permits allows businesses to secure financing and schedule construction more efficiently,” said Governor Gregoire.

The grants will fund the restructuring of the recipients’ information management systems. The reorganization process will upgrade permit tracking technologies to make it easier for applicants to find the status of land use and development permits; and expand local government’s ability to work with state and federal permit review systems.

The updated systems will also enable local jurisdictions to track useful pieces of data, such as the percentage of applications that are approved after only one submittal; the number of review cycles required for other applications; the total cost of processing; and the amount of time for permit to be approved from the time it is submitted.

Grant recipients:

  • Walla Walla County will receive $55,000 to purchase an electronic permit tracking system for permitting, information technology and financial tasks in response to a sharp increase in building permits for homes, wineries, large agriculture buildings, golf courses and subdivisions.
  • The City of Shelton will receive $40,000 to replace a traditional paper system with an electronic permit tracking system to address substantial growth in the city’s Urban Growth Area.
  • Chelan County will receive $35,000 for an electronic property and permit tracking system, potentially shared with any city in Chelan County.
  • Okanogan County will receive $25,000 for an integrated business portal to improve the effectiveness of regulation and review processes.
  • The City of Ferndale will receive $10,000 for an automated system for a new Development Center allowing concurrent review, information exchange and fee management.
  • The City of Longview will receive $10,000 to extend the permit counter to the Internet, improving customer assistance and workflow.