The system was implemented through a pilot program of the state Department of Administration’s Office of Regulatory Reform and the state Office of Digital Excellence. Westerly was one of 10 municipalities selected for the program.
The system allows for electronic applications, status updates, and credit card payments. The system verifies contractor licenses by limiting use of the system to those who hold a valid license. An automated feature updates license information nightly.
Those who prefer to come into Town Hall can use a computer at the counter leading into the Building Department or two public use computers positioned in the hallway outside of the tax assessor’s office.
Preparation for the system, which started in late 2015, entailed importing Building Department data into the new system. The state agencies paid for both the importing of data, initial software fees, implementation fees and the cost of training. Town staff members from the Building Department and Information Technology Department handled the preparatory work.
The system can be accessed by all staff members. Initially the town planner and his administrative assistant have access. The system allows the staff to check on the status of applications.