Nestled in the heart of Oswego County, NY, the Town of Granby is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of rural charm and modern conveniences. With its rolling hills, quaint farmlands, and neighborly residents, the Town provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby cities.
Due to being understaffed, the Town faced significant challenges in managing development, zoning, and code enforcement. As a result, the Town put off development projects, leading to delays in permit approvals, neglected properties, and unhappy residents.
After success investing in OpenGov to modernize its budget, the Town expanded its partnership. It implemented OpenGov Permitting & Licensing, reframing the permitting process as proactive and efficient, and decreasing processing times by 40%.
“My favorite thing about OpenGov is that you’re not just buying a product; you’re enlisting a partner.”
John Snow, Town Supervisor & Budget Officer, Granby, NY
Permitting & Licensing
40% Faster Approval Times
More Time On-Site with Mobile Access to Notes and Documents
Streamlined Cross-Departmental Collaboration Leads to Faster Decision Making
Stuck in a Reactive and Complaint Driven Process
Before OpenGov, permitting was managed on one computer in the codes office of Granby Town Hall, leading to many inconveniences. For example, Town staff dealt with one permit at a time and could not surface records and documents while in the field. In addition, an application was only approved when the assigned staffer was in the office.
“It made the office very complaint-driven and reactive, which is not how things should operate,” said the Town’s Supervisor, John Snow.
Cross-departmental communication and data management was also a nightmare, as it was entirely paper-based: “We were literally moving file folders across departments between about 30 file cabinets, and that was our data management,” said Snow.
While renovating an entire process, especially understaffed, is no small task, Snow knew modernization was necessary to appease frustrated residents. After vetting 15 solutions, Snow and his staff ultimately decided on OpenGov, as they were confident in both the product and the support they would receive:
“The partnership is what’s most valuable. The OpenGov team cares so much about this little town and has opened our eyes to an easier and more efficient way of doing things,”
– John Snow, Town Supervisor & Budget Officer, Granby, NY
Mobile Capabilities Allow for More Time in Field & Proactive Enforcement
The biggest complaint Snow would receive from residents was the lack of enforcement of zoning and property maintenance. This was a direct result of Town Staff spending more time in office than on the field.
OpenGov eliminated the back-and-forth for developers, inspectors, and coding staff, by granting all stakeholders access to documents and field notes on their tablets. In addition, with access to permits instantly and anywhere, the Town cut permit processing times by 40%.
Mobile access also allowed for code enforcement officers to be proactive, rather than visit a problematic property once a complaint has already been made: “While code officers are driving to do an inspection, and notice something else while driving, they can pull over to the side of the road and can check out the property and record on their tablet. They can put in a stop work order instantly,” said Snow.
“Now they can be out on the field taking care of residents, making sure permits are approved in a timely manner, and catching violations and working with residents to make sure their property is up to code.”
– John Snow, Town Supervisor & Budget Officer, Town of Granby, NY
Streamlined Collaboration Leads to Faster Decision Making
Migrating permits and records online allowed the Town to say goodbye to its begrudged filing cabinets. With OpenGov’s workflow capabilities, each department can communicate and see the progress of a project in the system.
These workflow and accessibility tools also proved to be helpful in planning meetings with applicants: “Now the planning board gets out [lap tops] at their meetings, and if there is an applicant in front of them, they can take a look at the permits and stipulations during the meeting and reach a decision faster.”
For the first time in a while, Snow can take a deep breath. He feels confident that he is meeting the needs of residents without overworking staff: “With these efficiencies, we are now working the level we are capable of working. We are able to take projects on without having to put any off.”
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