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Local agencies honored at permitting reception

From reports

The jurisdictions participating in Northeast Indiana's Permitting Excellence Coalition (PEC) were honored at a Permitting Recognition Reception Wednesday, April 19 hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the HPG Network.
In addition to Whitley County and the City of Columbia City, participating jurisdictions in the Permitting Excellence Coalition include:
Allen County / City of Fort Wayne; City of Angola; City of Auburn; City of Decatur; DeKalb County; Huntington County; City of Huntington; LaGrange County; City of New Haven; Town of North Manchester; Rome City; City of Wabash; and Wells County.
PEC representatives met throughout 2016 - the third year for the coalition - to focus on process and communication improvements that align with the core customer values of consistency, transparency and easy access.
Accomplishments this year include improved tracking of performance data, utilization of a standardized customer feedback survey and regular input from high volume customers through a customer-oriented taskforce.
"The Permitting Excellence Coalition's dedication to continuous improvement gives Northeast Indiana a competitive edge in attracting new businesses and encouraging investments by existing businesses. Our tireless commitment to bettering our permitting processes continues to advance and empower the region. That's good for our businesses, our residents and our communities," said Nathan Bilger, executive director of Planning and Building in Whitley County.
With the third year of the program complete, the Permitting Excellence Coalition now has a foundation to continue work on its three core values of consistency, transparency and easy access. The group's efforts this year will allow it to better measure and communicate the effectiveness of the process in order to meet customer needs.
"Driven by a diverse and robust economy, Northeast Indiana's streamlined permitting process provides a distinct and unique environment in which to do business," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "The jurisdictions committed to the PEC are critical to efficiently and effectively navigating the permitting process with direct services to make planning and zoning easier for new and existing businesses."
PEC members are also renewing their request for non-residential permit applicants to complete a 16-question customer survey to provide input on the process. Survey questions are about customer service, responsiveness, timeliness and availability of information. The survey is designed to provide local government leaders with customer feedback they can use to make process improvements. Many jurisdictions distribute surveys at the time of permit application, or customers can take the survey by visiting this website. Feedback received is carefully reviewed and incorporated into the improvement process.
Streamlining business permitting is a top priority in the region's Vison 2020 initiative, which is spearheaded by the Regional Partnership. The HPG Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating thriving communities, manages the PEC on behalf of the Regional Partnership. The collaborative effort aims to help create a business-friendly environment that will encourage greater economic growth in Northeast Indiana by making it easier for businesses to obtain appropriate permits to build and expand in the region.
For more information about the Streamlined Permitting priority, visit http://www.neindiana.com/permitting.


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