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Cities Digital Customer Highlight: How Deschutes County Simplified the Right of Way Process with Las

Laserfiche Solution Contributed By Shad Campbell, IT Applications Manager, Deschutes County, OR

Deschutes County is located in Central Oregon, nestled between the Cascade Mountain Range to the west and the high desert plateau to the east, with a population of over 180,000 and growing.

The need for a more efficient digital process for rights of way began with the County’s Road Department. In the past, a majority of the right of way process was paper-based. As a result, there were many inefficiencies ranging from pinpointing the exact location where work needed to take place to challenges tracking permit details onsite.

Deschutes County used Laserfiche Forms to create an electronic Utility/Work in Public Right of Ways Permit Application which has led to more convenient and efficient operations in the field for the Road Department.

“Before the new process was implemented, employees either had to call into the office to have another staff member lookup permit information or carry a binder filled with printed permits onsite that had to be paged through to determine a street location,” said Shad Campbell, IT Applications Manager.

The electronic application form helps the county provide residents with a quicker response, a more efficient way of submitting applications, and greater accuracy for providing locations for the requested work. In addition, the Road Department staff is now able to more efficiently assess the work that is being done in the right of way.

An Electronic Right of Way Permit Application Makes the Permitting Process More Efficient

The Right of Way Permit Application is now available on the County’s Website. The applicant can simply click on the Laserfiche Form Link to fill out the online application when they want to dig in the right of way.

The applicant opens the link to the Form and accepts the provisions outlined by the county before proceeding with the application. This section of the application can conveniently be hidden once accepted; allowing the applicant to fill out the rest of the form.

The permit application contains four sections including provisions, applicant information, contractor information, and project information. The applicant and contractor sections contain standard fields such as name, address, phone number, and email address.

The unique piece of this application form is included within the project information section. This is where applicants are asked to identify information about the project. Fields are configured to pull information from a database dynamically populating road names in a drop-down list. Once a road is selected, an integrated JavaScript based mapping API called Leaflet was added into the form’s JavaScript library which allowed the addition of some basic mapping components. When the applicant clicks the button to use the map to specify Lat/Long a map is displayed pointing them to the street that was selected from the drop-down list. When the applicant is viewing the map, they can click directly on the location where they will be digging in the right of way. Once the applicant places the pin and saves the coordinates, the latitude, and longitude information from the map are directly inserted into the fields on the form.

A forms business process begins upon successful submission of the application.

The initial steps of the business process after the application has been populated and submitted are for the applicant to receive a confirmation notification informing them that the permit application was received and is being evaluated. The permit application then goes through a review process where it is either approved or rejected. If it is rejected, the applicant will receive notification of the rejection. If the permit application is approved, however, it triggers a workflow to copy the information into the County’s ArcGIS program. The business process completes by placing the form in the Laserfiche repository and sending a notification of acceptance to the applicant with all of the necessary permit information.

When the workflow component is initiated, information is collected from the Laserfiche Forms content. Next, a custom query runs to retrieve the next record in ArcGIS, and that data is inserted as a new record into the ArcGIS database. After the database is updated with the new information, the permit will display online on the ArcGIS map visible to staff at Deschutes County. The map instantly shows that a new dot was created when the new permit application was approved through the forms process.

The implementation of this permitting solution and integration with ArcGIS has greatly increased efficiency for both Road Department Staff of Deschutes County and residents requesting right of way permits. The County is now visualizing data and saving trips to the file drawer.

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