NetClerk streamlines online permits

A company that provides building contractors with customized online permit

applications in more than 1,200 cities has streamlined its system even further.

NetClerk Inc. has unveiled CityCentral, a system that enables municipalities

to securely review, manage and approve permits online.

"We have a whole mechanism where the city and contractors can communicate,"

said Jon Fisher, the company's co-founder. "It's a collaborative structure

we've erected here."

The company launched a Web-based permit-application process, PermitCentral,

more than a year ago. It created a central online location where construction

industry professionals, such as electrical, plumbing and roofing contractors,

can fill out permits based on a municipality's specifications. NetClerk

then submits the application to the municipality by e-mail, fax or courier.

Fisher said providing municipalities an online venue for those applications

was the next phase. To use CityCentral, a city needs a Web browser and 15

minutes to get set up, he said.

Cities can view online permits in real time; approve, reject and track

applications; and return approved permits to the contractor. Data is encrypted

and the system can be set up so only one computer within a city department

can be used to view the online permits.

The company is offering the service to its 1,200-city network. A handful

of cities, including Denver, use the CityCentral system now. The company

also is working with several cities to allow electronic signatures.

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