Creating a Citizen-Engaged PLL Portal for the City of Winston-Salem, NC

 

The City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a community rich with historic southern charm and fast-paced urban growth, prides itself on being known as a citizen-engaged community. This distinction from the Public Technology Institute recognizes communities for using technology to give citizens access to government services and information. So, when the City of Winston-Salem was looking to implement a public-facing PLL (permitting, licensing and land) solution that would encourage citizen involvement, the customizable Timmons Group PLL Portal was the smart choice.

The TG Portal for Cityworks® PLL focuses on enhancing contractor and citizen access to permits and inspections through a custom web interface. This capability allows users to easily apply for new permits, manage existing permits and schedule permits utilizing a public facing website. Additionally, the Portal plugs into numerous point of sale and payment management systems, like PayPal, to enable seamless online payments.

The TG PLL Portal is a map-based solution that offers two levels of access: guest and contractor. Guest access allows users to search for permits, view permit status and make online payments. In addition to these features, contractor access allows licensed contractors to apply for trade permits and schedule inspections directly through the Portal.

Featuring customizable design elements, Timmons Group worked with the City of Winston-Salem to define branding and design goals to meet the City’s requirements. Once defined, the design was developed in an agile methodology that gave the City the ability to review the design throughout development. The Portal, named BuildIT by the City, now encompasses the look and feel that the client envisioned.

Deployed in February of 2017, BuildIT successfully integrated into the City’s environment. “We’ve already seen BuildIT process 90 permits in a day,” said Timmons Group project manager Michael Edwards. “That number will grow as the city grows, and BuildIT will be able to keep up with the increased demand.”

“The City of Winston-Salem is excited to possess a more streamlined and user friendly permitting process for our development community. To meet our business requirements, City staff partnered with Azteca Systems, LLC and Timmons Group to build a web portal that includes additional features above and beyond the standard Cityworks solution. From design and development to acceptance testing, each organization truly put their whole heart into this project. Working together we have built a solution that we look forward to utilizing for many years to come.” said Lee Nichols, City of Winston-Salem.

Through the implementation of the TG PLL Portal, Winston-Salem could create a customized solution for their growing community that also supports the City’s values and vision. With this tool in place, BuildIT will help to keep the citizens of this growing community informed and engaged.

About the City of Winston-Salem

Located in Forsyth County in the Piedmont Triad region, the City of Winston-Salem is the fourth-largest city in North Carolina. Founded in 1851 and home to many renowned colleges and universities, the city is often referred to as the “City of the Arts and Innovation” for its enthusiasm for the arts as well as their pioneering spirit for healthcare research and technology.

About Timmons Group

Timmons Group is a leading provider of geospatial information architecture and engineering services to a wide variety of clients. We focus on developing intuitive, enterprise geospatial web applications, highly-usable, cross-device mobile applications and integrated, geospatially-enabled enterprise solutions. Timmons Group is both a Cityworks® Platinum Implementation Partner and a Strategic Development Partner. Timmons Group develops solutions across multiple platforms, including JavaScript, HTML5 and native mobile operating systems. For more information about Timmons Group’s geospatial products and services, contact Ron Butcher at ron.butcher@timmons.com or visit www.timmonsgis.com.

By Ronald Butcher, Director of Asset Management Solutions, Timmons Group

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