Community development department welcomes new software

Matt Algarin

Thanks to new software, the city’s community development department should be able to streamline its operations.

“Right now, our processes in community development are kind of disjointed and they don’t communicate,” said Webb Warren, the city’s information systems and technology director. “This software will allow them to do that.”

With a unanimous vote during their Jan. 5 City Council meeting, city leaders agreed to purchase a program called Citizenserve. The software, which is used by governments and municipalities nationwide, will cost the city $20,550.

Citizenserve, according to the company’s website, provides e-government software solutions for permitting, code enforcement, planning and zoning, business licensing and request tracking for a monthly subscription fee.

City officials traveled to Orange Beach, Ala., to see the software program in action and were pleased with what they saw.

“We researched this a lot, and this one (program) was heads above the rest,” Warren said. “Everyone we spoke to has just raved about it.”

The change comes on the heels of a suggestion made by a city appointed blue ribbon panel, Warren told The Log.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but this is going to be really, really good for the city,” he said.

A three-phase installation program is expected to begin in February. Annual costs associated with the program will be offset by the establishment of a 5 percent development processing fee.