Campbell County Goes Live with LAMA

On January 26, 2015 Campbell County, located in the northeast corner of Wyoming, became the latest municipality to join the LAMA fold. With the implementation of LAMA to manage their permitting, planning and code enforcement responsibilities, the County now has a state-of-the-art solution that will grow with them as they experience expansive growth related to the energy industry. The implementation of LAMA’s Mobility Module is key to the County’s ability to efficiently manage their departmental resources as the demand on those resources continues to grow. The flexibility inherent in LAMA allowed The Davenport Group to configure the LAMA software to mimic the County’s existing workflow, including the look and feel of their current forms and reports. That same flexibility in configuration allows the LAMA software to adapt with the County as it grows into the 21st century.

With a population approaching 50,000 Campbell County has two incorporated communities within its boundaries. The City of Gillette is the county seat and has often been referred to as the Energy Capital of the Nation. With 12 active coal mines in the County supplying more coal for electricity generation than any other county in the nation, we can understand where its nickname comes from. The Town of Wright is the other incorporated community in Campbell County. Wright has been a planned community from its beginnings in the late 70’s. Even before The Atlantic Richfield Company or ARCO opened the Black Thunder Coal Mine, the company had been studying city planning issues with the goal of providing a place to live for the influx of workers it expected when the mine opened. Thus, the community of Wright was born. Wright gains its name from the landowner who sold the land to ARCO so they could create the planned community that they had envisioned. Wright was incorporated as the Town of Wright in 1985.

A strong growth rate since the decade of the 70s has presented Campbell County with unique challenges. Stepping up to meet the challenges of life is nothing new to the folks that live here. With the decision to implement LAMA from The Davenport Group, the County has positioned themselves to not only be able to meet these challenges but to master them well into the coming decades.

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Gurnee Launches LAMA Citizen Access

On April 5th, 2014 the Village of Gurnee, located in the Northeast corner of Illinois in Central Lake County, launched the LAMA Citizen Access Portal.  The web application was developed by the Davenport Group, a company that has been creating municipal software since 2004.  In January of 2013, Gurnee implemented the Davenport Group’s signature program, LAMA, to manage their permitting, licensing, code enforcement, and planning processes.  By adding the LAMA Citizen Access Portal: https://onestop.gurnee.il.us, to their software system, Gurnee connected their citizens directly to their city processes.  Citizens can now submit applications for permits, check on the status of existing permits, upload important documents, and in the near future, pay for permits from home.  And for the Gurnee officials, finalizing web submitted applications is a simple as completing their review process.  There is little data input required.

Gurnee is a unique municipality.  It is one of three communities within the state of Illinois that does not levy property or utility taxes.  Gurnee is able to keep taxes low because it has several huge sources of tax revenue in the Six Flags Great America park, Gurnee Mills Mall, and the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark.  Despite Gurnee’s low taxes and the recession of the U.S. Economy, the village’s revenues actually increased $1.1 million in the fiscal year 2012/2013.  As of the 2010 census, the village population is 31,295, and it is has a very balanced land use at 59% zoned residential, 21% commercial, 8% industrial, and 12% parks/open space.  LAMA is a great solution for communities with balanced land use because it can adapt to any community’s zoning requirements and its processes can dynamically account for land use.  LAMA is powerful enough to query the GIS data for the location of a particular permit, verify the land use of that location, cross reference that with the permit type, and adjust that permit’s application process, reviews, and fees accordingly.

Another interesting facet of Gurnee is that it is classified as a Home Rule community.  Municipalities in Illinois with populations over 25,000 are automatically granted Home Rule status and over 70% of Illinois’ population live in Home Rule communities.  Home Rule essentially transfers many of the powers from the state level to the municipality, giving municipalities much more control and flexibility.  These powers include greater control of local development, taxes, fees, and bonds.  LAMA allows Gurnee to shoulder that added responsibility and turn around policy changes quickly.  Application requirements, fees, bonds, and work flows can all be changed on the fly.  And for communities that use the LAMA Citizen Access web application like Gurnee, these changes can be made available to the public in little to no time at all.  LAMA has the flexibility to change with growing municipalities.  It also has a complete set of technologies that modern, American communities need to maintain efficient and effective government.

 

New Lenox Manages Development Process with LAMA Solution

New Lenox, Illinois is located 36 miles southwest of Chicago.  The population in 2010 was 24,394 and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning predicts that the population will increase to 90,652 in 2030.  This rapid growth, coupled with a stabilizing economy, has led to a significant increase in development in New Lenox.  2012 saw an 87% increase in residential development from 2011 and several major commercial projects were completed the same year.  In response to the growth, the Village established a new Community Development Department in 2012 to coordinate their services more efficiently.

Since the new Community Development Department consolidated the Building, Economic Development, Engineering, and Planning departments, it made sense for the Village to adopt LAMA Server, a software suite from the Davenport Group that allows municipalities to manage and integrate services across all departments.  New Lenox officially started using the LAMA Work Order, Licensing, and Permitting modules in September of 2012.  Not only does LAMA provide an easy solution to integrate town processes but it incorporates ESRI ArcGIS technology so town officials can track and manage their data by location.  New Lenox also chose LAMA because of its highly customizable forms and reports.  Thanks to LAMA they are now able to easily adapt to changes in reporting requirements for the Illinois City/County Management Association.

On June 24, 2013 the New Lenox Village Board of Trustees approved the adoption of the Route 30 Corridor plan.  The Corridor is home to several commercial districts and it connects downtown New Lenox to Interstate 80.  The project should drastically improve the appearance and functionality of Corridor which in turn will increase the Village’s appeal.  Since the project has raised the already high estimates for development in 2014, the Village of New Lenox has decided to implement the LAMA Planning Module to help deal with the increase in projects reviewed by the Sketch Plan Committee, Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Village Board.  With the LAMA Planning Module New Lenox will be able to:

  1. Integrate Planning Processes with Other Departments
  2. Collect and Report on Planning Data
  3. Manage Board Agendas and Meeting Dates
  4. Manage Project Workflow
  5. File Documents
  6. Manage Fees and Payments
  7. Generate Notices and Notifications

LAMA provides New Lenox the flexibility they need to encourage growth and future success.  It makes it easy for them to incorporate the latest software technologies and ensure that their processes are as accurate and efficient as possible.  To find out more about LAMA, please visit the Davenport Group website.

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Launches LAMA Citizen Access

In late May 2012 the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story about the launch of the Philadelpia Redevelopment Authority’s new Citizen Access Portal. The Citizen Portal is the latest product from the Davenport Group. The website is designed to integrate with the company’s land management software (LAMA), giving the public access to the program from anywhere. It even works great on smart phones. The new product is the first of its kind.

Philadelphia had been looking for a solution to its growing number of vacant properties and blight for years. The problem is all too familiar around cities in America today. “The city’s vacant-properties tally is now 40,000. The city owns about a quarter of those. Some are owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, some by the Public Property department and some by Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. Those multiple jurisdictions have been a big problem, since anyone interested in buying city property has had to navigate through a maddening bureaucratic maze to even find out which agency has oversight, and then to figure out the different rules that govern acquiring the properties. In a city where many things don’t work, the city-owned vacant-land system was an epic fail,” according to the Inquirer.

Enter LAMA’s new CRM product. By combining its GIS based program with the latest web technologies, LAMA is able to integrate property management systems and at the same time provide a flexible, easy to use interface for the public.

The article goes on to state, “(LAMA) has consolidated and mapped the city-owned properties that are available, so now those interested in acquiring a property for anything from a sideyard to a large development can see immediately what property is available, which agency has jurisdiction, and then file an expression of interest in the property, which gets directed to the right agency.”

Philadelphia officials are estatic about their latest investment in technology, because they know that in LAMA they are getting the most flexible, cutting-edge, and cost effective product available. Many more municipalities are sure to follow suit.

New Orleans One-Stop with LAMA Citizen Access

On March 19, 2013 New Orleans launched the newest product from the Davenport Group, the LAMA Customer Relationship Management(CRM) system. Dubbed the One Stop Shop App by city officials, the CRM represents a significant expansion in functionality within the LAMA Product Suite. When the Davenport Group created LAMA Server, they designed it as a desktop application to take advantage of each client computer’s processing power. The program has the capabilities to run complex queries and process large quantities of GIS data. While these features put LAMA Server in its own class among Enterprise Government Software solutions, they also confined the program to the desktop.

Now the public can use the CRM interface to apply for and manage their permits, licenses, and planning projects from anywhere. They can also report violations and research other registered projects that may be in their area. The City posted a press release detailing the upgrade. “The opening of the One Stop Shop is exciting and meaningful to bringing new economic development to our city,” said Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, City Council Vice President. “As a former businesswoman, I’ve asked for this since the day I arrived in office in May of 1990.”

LAMA’s expansion to the web can be summed up as three major improvements:

  1. Convenience: Citizens can now apply for city services from anywhere.
  2. Efficiency: The website’s automatic processing drastically cuts down on the amount of citizens who come into the office to submit applications. No more waiting in long lines for city services.
  3. Transparancy: Through the CRM, citizens can do their own research on any registered acitvity within the city. The processes for each service are also strictly enforced, so citizens can’t shop between departments for approval.

The opening of the One Stop Shop is a huge step forward for the city, as it makes the permitting and licensing process both more efficient and transparent,” said District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. “The One Stop Shop will save city residents time and make it easier for them to obtain the permits and licenses they need.” Feedback from city officials and citizens has been overwhelmingly positive. And in a short time, New Orleans has transformed itself into an industry leader in technology and customer service.

“I am excited to see New Orleans take on such drastic internal changes to fit the needs of the public. This project will be a win/win for the public and City officials,” said Rod Miller, President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. With the addition of the CRM, the LAMA software suite has all of the tools necessary to maintain a modern, developing city.