TAVARES — Since its introduction two years ago, use of the online payment feature for building permits has steadily increased. Through the first five months of this year when compared to the same period in 2009 the online service is averaging 95 percent more in revenues.
The Lake County Web site allows users to access, apply and search for permits online. After submitting a building permit application online, the process takes less than one business day before it is reviewed. An applicant can then log back into the e-permitting system and make a payment with a MasterCard or Visa.
“The customer can apply for and pay for several different building permit types from the comfort of their home or office,” said Amye King, Director of the Lake County Department of Growth Management. “Having the permitting process online saves customers time and money.”
Designing and implementing the online payment feature was a team effort between the Lake County Department of Information Technology’s divisions of Programming & Application Support Services (PASS) and Information Outreach and the Department of Growth Management, Building Services Division. View the e-permitting system.
“I would say it has been successful,” said Erikk Ross, Director of PASS. “Moving toward Web-based services and payments is beneficial not only for our customers and citizens but for our organization as well. There is still room for improvement. Online payments still make up only a small portion of the total number of permits paid for each month.”
The PASS Division is currently collaborating with other County functions to develop other Web applications that may prove to be equally beneficial in providing customers a choice in conducting business with the County online.
“We are currently working with the Planning & Community Design Division to put site plans online,” Ross said. “Very similar to building permits where customers will be able to apply for site plan approvals through the County Web site and also pay for them.
“A few months ago we also launched applications for rezonings online. Not only does this allow customers to apply for their zoning applications online, but it also opened up new building permit types, which can be applied for online. Down the road, we have several other online initiatives for the Growth Management department including contractor renewals.”