News release from the Allen Count Board of Commissioners and City of Fort Wayne, dated September 19, 2011:
Permitting Task Force Getting Positive Feedback
Survey of developers indicates customer service improvements
(September 19, 2011) â€” Members of the joint City-County Permitting Task Force say they are pleased with the feedback they are receiving from developers and the business community about efforts to make the permitting process easier and more efficient in Allen County and Fort Wayne. That feedback included results of customer-satisfaction surveys of City and County departments involved in the permitting process. Data from the most recent survey conducted during August shows improvement in several areas compared to the first survey done in March. Those areas include staff communication and responsiveness, timeliness in getting projects inspected and permits approved, explaining the permitting process and offering alternatives or suggestions that helped move the process along.
“In every category for measuring progress, the business community is telling us our departments are making improvements,” said Commissioner Nelson Peters, a member of the task force. “Credit goes to the department heads and staffs for making good customer service a top priority. Now, it’s up to our committee to develop a plan that takes responsive and responsible permitting to the next level.”
“Our efforts to cut red tape and make the community more business friendly are a high priority,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It’s good to see that our surveys are being used and that we are getting positive feedback. I’m anxious to see the efforts of the permitting committee move forward and I’m convinced they will result in efficient, streamlined processes.”
The City and County announced in May a multifaceted plan for permitting that simplifies and speeds up processes, jumpstarts the use of technology, streamlines approvals, provides hands-on support and quicker answers, and works to clarify and align the rules and regulations of both jurisdictions. The Fort Wayne City and Allen County Councils each appropriated $700,000 to fund the plan, which will be fully implemented over a 12 to 18-month period once approval is given.
The task force has been working directly with the business community to identify concerns and craft a plan that would meet its needs. Regular meetings with business owners, developers, builders and architects have been part of the effort and will continue, along with ongoing internal team meetings.