Online permitting coming to city of Aberdeen

Program will also allow residents to complain online to the city about code violations

The city of Aberdeen has chosen permitting software by the Poulsbo company SmartGov and the City Council on Wednesday authorized the mayor to sign the contract.

Cost will be nearly $45,000 to purchase the software, set it up and train employees to use this web-based system.

It exceeds the $40,000 budgeted for the purchase for the software to be used by the Community Development, Public Works and Fire departments.

However, “it’s a step up from what we’re doing now,” said Mayor Erik Larson. And that’s a collection of different permitting systems being used among these various city departments.

An additional yearly usage fee of $18,000 the city would pay SmartGov is going to be offset by the $5 technology fee collected with each permit issued. Less use of the program would result in a lower annual cost.

People seeking permits could obtain them online once the system is in place and citizens could file code complaints online with this system. Both types of customers can monitor the progress of their requests online as well with this software.

There were three other companies who offered bids but some were discovered to require additional costs. Another didn’t offer the citizens portal or the ability for inspectors to digitize work from the field, according to Lisa Scott, the city’s community development director.

Gateway Center design survey

Results from the final public survey regarding the future Gateway Center should be available soon.

It posed questions about style preferences — specifically whether it should be a fully modern design or one that incorporates facades of the Selmer’s building — and whether residents would be willing to help make up for the additional cost of preserving and including the facades. It was recently estimated to add $850,000 to the projected price tag of at least $8 million for construction of a visitors and enterprise center in Aberdeen on the northeast corner of Wishkah and F streets.

How they would want to do this was also included in the survey.

Mayor Erik Larson said he anticipates the matter will be presented to the City Council when it meets on Feb. 22.

He hopes to see the results prepared and presented to the public within days. However, this last survey garnered more responses than anticipated, he said.

30-gallon monthly trash service

Harold LeMay Enterprises will be able to soon offer customers 30-gallon containers for monthly trash pickup because the council approved a change in the solid waste and recyclable materials collection system ordinance.

The old contract stipulated use of a 65-gallon cart with a 30-gallon insert and this move eliminates the need for the bigger container.

Land purchase

The council approved the purchase of nearly 24 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to Charley Creek. The $6,000 cost is less than the assessed value of $8,000 so the seller, Gary Massoth, will be able to claim a tax-deductible donation for the excess property value.

The city will have direct access to Charley Creek to remove log jams, better ensure flood prevention and provide future mitigation areas by keeping the water in its channel.

Water use efficiency

The city will assist at least 20 water customers a year reduce their water consumption after the council approved state-required conservation goals that would be in effect for six years. This would be accomplished by finding and identifying leaks from toilets.

They also retained the goal of reducing the city’s leakage from its distribution system to no more than 10 percent after finding out meters measuring this loss are faulty. The meters are being replaced on warranty.