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Online service speeds process for permits

September 15, 2006|by TARA REILLY

Contractors doing work in Washington County no longer have to wait hours or days to apply for trade permits or make a trip to the office to schedule inspections.

The county's Velocity Hall online service can take care of business in a matter of minutes, Permits and Inspections Deputy Director Angela Smith said.

The site has been online since June 15.

"We're just trying to reach out and meet the needs of all our customers," Smith said.

At any time of the day, Smith said site users may apply and pay with a credit card for electrical, plumbing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning permits; to schedule inspections; to check on the status of permits; and for other background information about a particular project.

Many permits are approved immediately, and contractors can print them out and begin their work, she said.

Building permits still must be applied for in the office, but, eventually, she said the county would like to have those online as well.

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The site, Smith said, has been popular with contractors so far.

It receives about 75 to 100 hits a day, with 15 to 30 permits applied for daily, she said. In August, the site had 2,500 hits.

"Things are going very well," Smith said.

Smith said the site isn't difficult to use, but that the department is offering training sessions every month to anyone interested.

Classes last about 45 minutes.

For more information about training and to use the service, visit www.velocityhall.com/washingtoncounty.

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