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City permit center in progress
ARLINGTON As the remodel of the historic downtown Hogan building slowly progresses for the city of Arlingtons future permit center, staff are working on ways to streamline their services.
City of Arlington Assistant Director of Community Development Bill Blake and Permit Center Coordinator Sonya Blacker report the permit center is adopting a new Web-based permit tracking system that gives all the citys departments access to the same information.
The city is testing the system on a trial basis, but Blake hopes that permit applicants will be able to apply for permits and check their status online within a few years.
Blacker predicted that the Permit Trax system will be up and running by mid-summer. She sees this system as part of the permit centers effort to improve customer service for permit applicants.
Permit center staff should act as advocates for their customers, Blacker said.
Another goal of the permit center is to develop the space and procedures to make it possible for customers to deal with all their permit needs at one location in the city. The Hogan building on Third Street, directly north of the police station, is still the planned choice to house the permit center, although Blake noted that he had received no solid timeline for when the renovation might be done.
Blake elaborated that the Hogan buildings first floor would serve as a customer service area, complete with a waiting lobby, counters for quick business and conference tables for longer meetings.
Were currently using the City Council chambers and the police station rooms for those meetings, Blake said. Wed also be able to have a computer in the lobby for online filing.
Blake envisions the upper floor as an area for behind-the-scenes technical work, such as engineering and plan reviews.
Gregory Minaker, of Minaker Architecture in Arlington, designed the remodel for the Hogan building as the permit center.