Boardman, OH - January 21, 2020 – The Township of Boardman, Ohio has launched a new online portal to make permitting processes more efficient and user-friendly using the newest addition to OpenGov’s cloud-based software platform--OpenGov Permitting, Licensing and Code Enforcement (PLC) suite. The Township is using the software suite for code enforcement requests and inspections, development permits, and rental property registration.
“The Township of Boardman is a perfect example of how forward-thinking governments can realize true efficiency in their operations utilizing our cloud-based solutions,” said OpenGov’s Head of Local Government Business Mike Mattson. “OpenGov PLC allows for an unprecedented level of process automation around community development services, which is a huge benefit to both department staff and public applicants.”
“For the past three years we have been looking for the right solution to help us improve our ability to service our community efficiently, as well as reduce our environmental impact by reducing our paper consumption,” said Boardman Township Zoning and Development Director Krista Beniston. “After 20 or so demonstrations and almost as many price quotes, we are happy with OpenGov’s level of transparency and reliability. They provide us with an incredible amount of data, so we can make smart decisions with our resources and limited budget.”
Staying in touch with neighborhood needs
The new code enforcement process supported by OpenGov PLC revolutionizes the way Boardman manages both complaints from the public and subsequent inspections. Previously, any code enforcement requests received were printed and processed manually using printed pictures, filing cabinets organized by aerial maps, and individual log sheets to track inspections and case progress.
“OpenGov’s integrated mapping and routing now automates those processes – the system even optimizes daily inspection routes and we can simply print off a list of locations from one system, the paper files gone,” said Beniston. “We are excited about the increased efficiency we are already seeing in code enforcement, with streamlined steps, less paper, and saved staff time.”
“This also means less room for error. When we have an absence, we can easily reassign inspections so cases stay on track with fewer delays for our residents. Our staff are spending less time on paperwork, and more time on rental inspections and code enforcement.”
Beniston reported that staff found the system to be very intuitive and were able to switch over quickly. “We were able to realize time savings immediately, with positive impacts in the code enforcement planning process, saving several hours of administration time, and in actual property enforcement time. By reducing the average amount of time cases are open, we improve public service and make staff available to spend that time on proactive inspections, targeting entire areas that need attention according to what the data shows,” said Beniston
The data reporting function of OpenGov’s software will allow Boardman staff to see inspections by number of issues by area or the amount of time it takes to complete the process to resolution. Reliable data will allow Boardman’s staff to conduct a new level of analysis, track trends, map issues, and improve processes. This data will ultimately allow Boardman to better allocate resources so staff can spend time more strategically on the work that needs to be done.
“In the end, the new system helps Boardman improve neighborhoods and the quality of our housing inventory, which maintain property values,” said Beniston.
Saving time, energy, and paper in development permits and rental property registrations
The online portal for development applications is currently available on the Boardman website and permitting is already more efficient. Whereas before implementing the new software, vendors needed to submit applications and pick-up approved permits in-person, now they can apply, pay for, and receive their permits online 24/7.
“Local sign companies are all using the OpenGov system which reduces calls into the Department, as well as visits, saving staff time,” Beniston noted.
The launch of OpenGov PLC on the Boardman website also allows for rental property registrations to be submitted online. This helps facilitate Boardman’s new policy requiring all rental properties to register with the Township, ensuring consistent regulation across all rental opportunities,
The Zoning and Development Department would like to move all rental applications online so paper processing can be eliminated. A proactive email campaign has been planned to encourage online applications.
Previously, the annual rental registration process required a great deal of mass mailing, consuming paper, time and energy. OpenGov software is providing the Township with a more sustainable solution and the Township expects to process approximately 3,500 applications in the first quarter of 2020.
OpenGov is the leader in providing government organizations with a modern cloud-based software solution to help improve transparency and public service. OpenGov’s extensive software platform is the only fully-integrated solution designed specifically for the unique needs of the public sector. Over 2,200 public agencies across the U.S. rely on OpenGov to help allocate resources, increase efficiency, improve public engagement and make data and information readily available to staff and the public.
About the Township of Boardman, OH
The Township of Boardman, OH is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees and independent, separately elected Township Fiscal Officer. The Township manages Police, Fire, Zoning and Roads for Boardman’s 40,000 residents.
617-577-9000 ext 115
Krista Beniston, Zoning and Development Director