Manual Paper and single-use software
For decades Rutland City relied on an unstructured, inefficient paper process, followed by an inefficient single-use software process for Certificates of Occupancy (COO) Inspections and Permits. These processes required a significant amount of time consuming manual handwritten paperwork and data entry for the Building Department’s four staff members. The paper process, followed by the single-use software process, ultimately proved to be antiquated, and caused confusion due to permit numbers being assigned for both passed and failed inspections. In addition, the municipality did not collect application fees from applicants, thereby failing to collect revenue from the COO process, which at times can be time intensive and/or sensitive.
Separate from the Certificate of Occupancy Permit challenges, the municipality recently passed a shopping cart ordinance, thereby requiring a way for constituents to efficiently report misplaced and abandoned shopping carts without the need to call city hall.
Rutland deployed GovPilot in December 2022 and officials have immediately seen value in the services provided. GovPilot helped the municipality implement a newly passed fee schedule (passed by the Board of Aldermen in August 2022) and online payment system for the revamped Certificate of Occupancy Permit process, which includes all changes of tenancy and real estate transactions. Though officials were at first concerned that applications would result in a reduction of Certificate of Occupancy Permit requests due to the newly implemented fee requirements, this apprehension has not borne out. Instead, the City of Rutland is more or less projected to conform with Certificate of Occupancy permitting numbers from previous years, and is on pace to collect between $40,000 and $45,000 in COO fees in 2023 - more than covering the cost of GovPilot and generating previously unrealized non-tax revenue for the budget.
Additionally, with GovPilot’s COO module in place, manual paper processes and administrative tasks have been eliminated, enabling staff to focus on other necessary Departmental tasks and serving the public. “Our Office Coordinator no longer has to fill out paper or digital forms for Inspectors, but rather, she just has to schedule it within the module - and with GovPilot’s integration with Google Calendars, it’s easy! With the new process in place, our Inspectors have more time to perform more inspections and other related tasks”, said Andrew Strniste, the City’s Planning & Zoning Administrator.
Separately, when Rutland passed a shopping cart ordinance towards the end of 2022, there was a fear among Staff that the new ordinance would result in an inundation of calls and be difficult to enforce. Instead GovPilot’s Report-a-Concern module and corresponding GovAlert app has enabled constituents to easily report abandoned carts, which can be aggregated as a heat map on the City’s GIS map. Now, concerned constituents have the ability to quickly report concerns to Staff. These submitted problems via Report-a-Concern are then mapped and routed to the correct department, processed, and resolved quickly.