Automated software makes work easier

Burlington is a Mayoral government with 14 City Councilors, approximately 650 employees, and 20 City Departments in 24 separate sites throughout the City. Home to the University of Vermont, the City has a highly educated population, which challenges its City government to develop the community while staying fiscally responsible.

Automated software makes work easier

From a particular viewpoint, the departments within the city were not running, but dragging a system. Every department was running independent servers, with their own server hubs, software applications, and databases, connected with slow phone lines, up till October 2002.

In the late 1990s, Burlington looked at ways of streamlining its building, planning, zoning and code enforcement departments with enterprise software. They laid the groundwork in 2002 by creating a fiber optic network connecting 24 key City locations. With a consultant's help, they evaluated many systems and in 2002 chose AMANDA.

As AMANDA was implemented data silos started to scrap away. During the workshops, the departments shared their work areas with other departments and began noticing how much it positively affected the workflow; they could share information with no more worry about damaging integrity.

Burlington re-engineered their business working systems, rules, and regulations. Burlington went live on AMANDA in July 2003 with three core departments; Planning and Zoning, Inspection Services, and the Code Enforcement divisions. These core departments were selected due to their need to share like property, permitting, and violation information.

Planning Department of Burlington got an automated development application and zoning process. The associated reports they prepare, earlier which happened manually, now happens automatically. AMANDA helps the reviewers visualize an application's parcel and the work in it's surrounding area because of AMANDA's integration with their GIS application.

This record of board decisions gives staff data for benchmarking, enabling them to gauge a rezoning requests probability of success, while an application is just beginning the process quickly with AMANDA. Code inspectors can store multiple contact names and follow-up with the proper contact.

Sophisticated reports also enable them to track incidents by the landlord, quickly identifying them by the properties they own and taking appropriate action.

Never before has the City benefited from one collective Property and Owner database.

The data entry time and data entry errors are reduced because of AMANDA's integration with a new computer-assisted mass appraisal system for the Assessor's office which has led to sharing of information.

Once the three departments shared property information on AMANDA, they discovered the similarities in their data and department processes, as well as the collective benefits of sharing data.

"We have benefited greatly by re-engineering our business activities using Information Technology as a driver - AMANDA has been a big part of this."
- Karen Wingate, Assistant City Treasurer with the City.

The city is realizing the value in other areas such as Property Tax, as new building permits send a trigger to the City's assessment system. The City plans on expanding AMANDA's field use among building inspectors and further integrating GIS orthogonal imagery.

Quick Stats

Population
40,000


Challenge
Streamline the city's building, planning, zoning and code enforcement departments with the enterprise software.


Solution

  • AMANDA Planning and Zoning,
  • Inspection Services
  • Code Enforcement

Conclusion

  • Code inspectors can store multiple contact names and quickly follow-up with the proper contact. Sophisticated reports enable them to track incidents by the landlord, quickly identifying them by the properties they own and taking appropriate action.
  • Data entry time and data entry errors have reduced.
  • Information collected is benefiting other departments and communication of critical items has improved, thus saving staff time.

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