West Valley City is located in the Salt Lake Valley between the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges. A suburb of Salt Lake City, West Valley is the second largest city in Utah with a population of about 130,000.
Building inspectors and code enforcement officers at West Valley City use Cityworks Server PLL (Permits, Licensing and Land) in the field. Users are equipped with laptops, printers, and Sprint aircards which connect to the city’s network via VPN. Inspectors and officers are able to perform all their daily tasks from their vehicles, from creating new code enforcement cases to conducting a building inspection for a contractor. All of these features are available to the users in the field.
Ken Cushing, programming supervisor at West Valley, said, “Server PLL gives all departments a live view of the current status of every permit or case in the field and around the city where the work is actually taking place. The program enables West Valley to track and manage daily activities much more efficiently than previously done.”
Before West Valley implemented Server PLL, inspection and code enforcement staff used paper forms, which had to be printed every morning, carried around all day, and returned to the office every evening for entry into the computer system.
“A lot of time was wasted with data entry, and it was difficult transferring it over at the end of each day,” said Cushing. “We decided a field solution was in the City’s best interest.”
The city deployed field laptops with PLL in early 2010. Since then, city staff is more efficient in fulfilling their day-to-day responsibilities and the city’s quality of customer service has improved. Now building inspectors are entering inspection results in real time and giving contractors immediate, readable results. Contractors and other interested parties can be notified of the results by email upon completion of the inspection, including any corrections that need to be made.
Similarly, code enforcement officers create cases and generate courtesy notices from their vehicles. They’re able to print out notices and post them on the property, rather than print them in the office and mail them. The city took field access a step further and built a custom, in-house ArcGIS web application which functions as a “quick create” tool, allowing officers to click on a property and create a new case or view any open cases on adjacent properties.
“Server PLL fits exactly what we were looking for,” Cushing said. “West Valley wanted a system to be based on a land layer with parcels and have everything point to that. PLL has proven to be a citywide application and has greatly improved our field processes.”