News & Blog
Leduc, Alta. has been able to keep functioning at 95% capacity despite City Hall closures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, in part thanks to CityView’s advanced technologies and online capabilities.
The City of Leduc, Alberta has been able to maintain fairly normal operations within its development permit and building permit processes during the coronavirus pandemic (despite nearly all staff members working from home), partly due to its wide use of CityView products that enable online submissions.
Leduc has been a CityView customer since 2014 and uses CityView’s suite of online community development modules for a variety of functions, including permits, inspections, electronic plan reviews and more.
Thankfully for its staff members, Leduc was able to rapidly transition to remote work. Each staff member already had a laptop and the IT department was able to provide VPN access, which allowed staff to maintain productivity and efficiency from home. While some builders in Alberta put a hold on projects in March, when the lock-down started, most have resumed construction and therefore Leduc is still able to receive and process requests for permits, inspections and the like via CityView Permits & Inspections and CityView Portal.
“We are so thankful for the CityView software,” says Kelly Stadnyk, a development officer who has worked for the City for 11 years. “We’ve been able to continue functioning at a high capacity, just as we were prior to COVID-19. With our old system, we were working mostly off of Word files and would have never been able to keep up with demand as we are today.”
The CityView Portal enables Leduc staff members to receive and process permit applications without the need for employees in the physical office, since everything is done online. It also allows residents, contractors and design professionals to directly upload their electronic documents and plans to Kelly’s department.
Leduc transitioned to a near paperless plan review process by implementing CityView Electronic Plans Review, which uses the award-winning PDF creation, editing, markup and collaboration technology of Bluebeam® software. “It’s kind of crazy, what we used to do to process plan reviews,” Kelly says, “compared to how simple it is now.” Rather than having multiple paper copies to print and distribute, now there is only one digital version to manage and the assessment department has full access to it. This allows for the easily circulation, review, mark up and comparison of documents, plans and construction drawings.
Leduc is committed to providing exceptional customer service and the CityView software helps them do that. But it’s also due to the way the City approaches its customers – whether that “customer” is a resident, business owner or contractor. As a result, Leduc is widely cited as one of the most “contractor friendly” municipalities in the region. When asked how it achieved such a stellar reputation, Kelly said, “Thinking about what the user is doing on their end is really important; we try to put ourselves in their shoes as much as we can. We like to make things as user-friendly as possible and CityView helps us do that.”
CityView Mobile is just one more example of how Leduc is simplifying things all around. Leduc’s development officers use it to access plans and related options from anywhere. The inspectors have the ability to complete inspections and can input results while onsite, instead of having to wait until they return home to the computer.
The economic development branch within the planning department uses CityView Licensing to reach out to loyal businesses to ensure they have the resources they need, as well as offer support from the City in applying for federal assistance that may be available. Since business owners are able to complete the entire licensing process online, from initial application to fee payment and renewals, City Hall’s closure due to stay home orders didn’t impact these types of processes.
CityView’s suite of software solutions helps Leduc stay organized and maintain service levels, which is what the City administration and council want, in order to provide the best customer service possible to its residents and business owners. However, it wasn’t the software itself or a specific module that has been most helpful to Kelly and her department. Instead, it’s been “the community of CityView users that we’re able to reach out to either online, at a user group or conference. We’re able to talk with other local municipalities who also use the software, which is especially nice since some of us have similar processing requirements,” Kelly commented. “CityView is really working well for us. It’s saved us, kind of.”
Leduc is a robust and active community built on a strong history of agriculture, oil/gas, recreation, arts & culture, volunteerism and tourism opportunities. Today, Leduc is a thriving city of roughly 30,000 people, situated along Alberta's major road and rail connections and is ideally located near the Edmonton International Airport.