Software program will make permit research, payment available online

Building contractors and others will be able to save trips and waits in line at Mohave County government offices once Information Technology staff install an online permitting system.

The system will enable contractors and others to research permits, buy simple permits and pay for flood plain information while logged on to their computers, information technology staffers said.

Examples of simple permits are for power and gas lines and septic systems.

The public will be able to check permit status, request and schedule inspections and verify results, said Lori Kimbrough, project manager in information technology.

They started using the server Thursday, Information Technology Director Mike Matthews said.

Accela, the South San Francisco, Calif., company that provided the "Permits" Plus software to the county, is providing the VelocityHall software system at no additional charge to the county.

The system needs to be tested by the Planning and Zoning Department, the flood control district and environmental health division of the Health & Social Services Department, Kimbrough said.

The testing requirement means that the system probably will not be up and running for another month.

With the existing software, computer users may research parcel numbers but not permits, Matthews said.

Users will be able to view street maps that include the parcel in question as well as aerial photos.

He said people seeking permits need to establish an account that contains basic information such as names and addresses.

And once the system is available, Kimbrough said she expects usage to increase.

"I think the functionality will increase because the contractors will demand it," she said.

Besides serving as a convenience to the public, it will cut staff time, Matthews said.

"People won't have to stand in line at the counter," he said.

His motto is "online, not in line."