HUDSON – A town resident recently requested that the Hudson Select Board expedite a shift toward electronic permitting for the Hudson Building Department.
Speaking at a Nov. 29 Select Board meeting, real estate contractor Scott LaFleur said he anticipates the shift would cut down on paperwork for the Building Department, make the process of submitting a permit easier, and put all records online.
“It’s a small [Building Department] staff, so putting the permit online is going to help out the town,” LaFleur said.
Any individual seeking to alter, demolish or change either the use or the occupancy of a building or structure needs a building permit from the town.
The Hudson Building Department currently has permit applications on its website. However, those need to be filled out and a hard copy needs to be submitted to the code inspector’s office. Applicants then receive phone calls from the department when their permits are ready to be picked up.
Electronic permitting would establish a system where computer-based tools would allow users to upload their materials and applications directly through an online portal.
Funding for implementation and continued maintenance of electronic permitting platforms has been cited as the primary barrier to implementing these systems, according to the nonprofit Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.
“We have had some discussions internally with department heads to potentially use ARPA funds to stand up an e-permitting platform,” Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory said on Nov. 29, referring to Hudson’s American Rescue Plan spending budget.
Select Board members expressed support for LaFleur’s proposal, Nov. 29, but cited costs as an impediment to be considered before moving forward.
“I know it’s going to cost,” LaFleur said. “But you’ll get more permits. Because it’s easier to do it.”
The nearby building departments of Bolton and Berlin have converted to e-permitting.
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