City of Bryan, Tx Infomaniacs Interview

Customer Profile Bryan, Tx Infomaniacs Interview

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Click this link to listen to an interview on the Infomaniacs, of City of Bryan employees discussing their new online permitting system, by Citizenserve! Just click the red link button, scroll down, and select the play button in the yellow circle.

00:00:01 Chelsea
It is Thursday.

00:00:02 Chelsea
Time to visit with. The folks from the city of Bryan and today we have Martin Zimmerman and Megan Hancock. In studio Martin is the assistant Development services director and Megan is the permitting systems business coordinator. So welcome in guys. Thanks for being in studio.

00:00:17 Martin
Good morning.

00:00:18 Chelsea
So we today I'm talking about the New online permitting portal. So Megan, I will let you begin and go ahead. And just explain what. Exactly that is.

00:00:28 Megan
So we're very excited about the new portal and it's been a multi year effort to get this going. Costumers and contractors can apply for a variety of permits online. They'll need to register in advance. Diving into that so. They can also apply with plans by sending that plans online for review. They can get their comments and have a back and forth with their staff. They can also request inspections, which is something we're really excited about and they can also see the inspection status by logging in instead of Home Office.

00:01:05 Chelsea
So this is obviously just going to be more. Beneficial because there are well, I don't know you tell. Me. What? What is? What is the technology going to help improve? How much more efficient is your operation going to be?

00:01:18 Megan
Well, one thing. We're really proud about is is mobile friendly, so a contractor can be out in the field that they can pull up support on their phone. Check the status of inspections or request them online.
They can check the status of those plan reviews and see if they need to submit something else, but it's just available anywhere and it's also outside of business hours.
So right now you would have to call between 1:00 and 5:00 and maybe check the status of an inspection, but after hours you can log in and. Say, hey, what about insect release from the?

00:01:49 Chelsea
You mentioned that they would have to register, So what if people are listening right now? They're going.
Hey, that sounds awesome. How can I do that? What are the next steps?

00:01:58 Megan
The homeowner is going. To create an online account and I know it's a new platform for them, we can help them out with that. If they have any questions. Contractors, we have a lot of contractors that registered already, but they would also create an online account and then register as a contractor or subcontractor. They'll need to include in transport their. But then we'll get them reviewed and put up in the. System and they can apply.

00:02:23 Chelsea
After that, OK, that sounds great. You said multi year effort. So when I mean is this thing live, is it ready?

00:02:29 Megan
To go it is when it's ready to go and we're happy with it. So, but it did take a few years to find the right company. We're very proud of the company where we went with, Citizenserve.

00:02:41 Chelsea
Anything else you'd like to add about the new portal?

00:02:45 Martin
It's been, you know, Megan and I still pinch each other really can't believe this is actually happening because like. For the last seven years or so, we've been. Trying to get a software up and you. Know we're really. Excited - we had a few bumps in there, but no show stoppers. So we're excited about that and you know the online payment system, all of that people don't have to call the office anymore. We've heard from some contractors, who’ve said they are sad not be talking to the nice counter anymore, but you know it's all about the customer service and we're.
Just really excited. We have, as of yesterday, we had 336 contacted registered and so it. Seems to be going well and. And we're looking forward.
Perhaps we will make you implementing some other things to where for the development review as part of our job, but people can also submit the applications and pay online. And in this day and age, that's the standard.
And then you would think. That it's really easy you. Can just have a software, but it's really. Make it fail to make. Part of the deployment that we had to really. Identify and implement 160 different processes. You know there's. There's different from the types, different things to. Think about especially things. And so really over the last year. We may want to.

00:04:13 Chelsea
And obviously it sounds like it's going to save time on y'all's end. Does that ultimately equal saving money for the department?

00:04:22 Martin
Possibly, but it is also, yeah. Customer service we're looking to see that. You know, now staff can be more efficient and other things that we can therefore be more. Efficient in other areas.
Doing other tasks that you know we introduced in that time and so yeah, but really there's the biggest changing in our business processes in the last 25 years. So we would be happy to.

00:04:59 Chelsea
Put out there.I was gonna say is this. Something that's common in other cities our size?

00:05:05 Martin
You know, there's what we found when we search for the life, that there's a lot of products out there, fortunately for us, this company, Citizenserve, with the one that seemed to work best for us.
They were very flexible and what they could do. Because you know, different things have different requirements, sometimes with different processes and so.

00:05:34 Chelsea
Do you have the other development update for the City of Bryan?

00:00:01 Martin
Time I I had a few. I don't have a full blown full blown update Have been from our department usually does that.
You know we have. Just a quick preview of the offset on the Riverside. It's a it's a new multifamily development with 449 bedrooms, it's in the innovation corridor.
Also known as Hwy. 47 in the Hill Brew Lab, they're doing a a new they're they're looking to move and we have a zoning request for them in, in downtown in W 31st St. that's been better storage facility. If you go down thin feather near Turkey Creek, you may have notices of.
There were, there were some storage units there before they they've been raised, they're looking to build a new one there for about 32,000 square feet. And we're getting 4 new hangars at colder airfield. That's exciting. And then maybe even more exciting for some is that we're talking to the Dixie chicken about, you know, building building expansion and redoing their lot. And remember, they had a little fire there a. While back? Yeah, so but. I can say that we're talking to them. And hopeful that. We can soon have some yummy food.

00:01:15 Chelsea
You mentioned going back to the portal that people need to register. What is the website that people need to go to in order to Get any of the stuff?

00:01:24 Megan
Done. Yeah, so WWW slash. City of Bryan, TX

00:01:32 Martin
You can also go to a Bryan TX dot.Gov slash online. Permitting perfect that will take you through,

00:01:38 Chelsea
OK. Martin, Megan. Anything else you'd like to add today?

00:01:42 Martin
Any questions go to the website, give us a call 209-5030. We'd be happy to help you if you have any any issues with the new system. But hopefully you won’t.

00:01:54 Chelsea
Thank you so much for joining us today, we really appreciate it. That is our community segment. It's brought to you by McCafferty Electric. They light up your life.