Communication Builds Our Community

City Looks to Improve Permitting Process

The City of Lake Wales will undertake an internal study to hopefully find ways to make its business-friendly approach even friendlier in 2020.

Officials revealed recently a group of employees is undertaking a comprehensive review of the city's building permitting process.

"We're looking for ways to make that more efficient and effective. Can we improve our software? One big thing were going to be looking to do is to accept everything electronically," City Manager Ken Fields said. "We still require paper submissions in some cases. A lot of the architects and engineers are going to electronic drawings."

Fields also said the city is planning on other ways to be more proactive to improve the permitting process.

"We're going to start getting feedback from people who come in. We're going to do postcards that people can fill out to say if they were satisfied with the process or identify what problems they may have run into," Fields noted.

In addition to the postcards, there will be a way to submit feedback electronically as well.

Mayor Eugene Fultz said he welcomes the initiative, after he recently undertook the effort to look at six months worth of permits, which covered some 1,300 individuals.

"There's no way I could go back and call each of those 1,300 individuals and ask them about their experience," he said.

Once information from the responses is complied, it will go to key city leaders as well as the commission for any resulting action.

"The commissioners won't be in the dark. That information will be supplied to us about how that process is working, what the complaints are all about, what needs to be changed and be tweaked," Fultz said. "We'll have built in feedback that will help us do our job."

Fields said this is likely the first of a number of reviews of many different city operations that will be identified over the next few years.

"When permitting is done, we'll be looking at other processes that we can improve," Fields added.


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