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Barry Archer, Director, Department of Codes Administration, (816) 513-1472; and Millie Crossland, Assistant to the Mayor, ServiceFIRST, (816) 513-3506

Doing business at City Hall gets easier with new ServiceFIRST initiative

New customer service procedures aimed at making the development process with the City more customer friendly have now been implemented through ServiceFIRST.

Local developers provided feedback about customer service concerns at an October ServiceFIRST meeting with Mayor Kay Barnes and City staff. Based on the developers’ input, the Department of Codes Administration quickly developed and implemented the following changes to improve efficiency.

Permits are now available online. Pre-registered applicants can submit permit applications for processing on the online permitting system, KivaCitizen. The Department of Codes Administration will process all applications within one business day of submittal. Utility reports will also be available to local utilities online. These reports were originally typed and faxed to utility companies.

More staff will be available to issue permits. This will double the number of those issuing permits from two to four. Applicants are no longer required to have appointments to pick up permits. Once applicants are notified permits are ready, they can be picked at the Oak Tower office.

Direct phone lines and e-mail addresses of plans reviewers will be available to all applicants and on the Department of Codes Administration’s Web page. Plans reviewers will be required to immediately return calls left on phone messages left in their absence.

Other improvements include revised procedures for handling discrepancies during plans reviews and inspections as well as reduction of wait time for available appointments.

“This type of fast turnaround in process is exactly what we are aiming for in ServiceFIRST. As you know, I believe we are at a critical point, as we must continually work toward attracting businesses and developers to assist us as we move ahead,” said Mayor Barnes.

ServiceFIRST is an initiative developed by the Mayor to provide efficient and cost effective basic services to the citizens of Kansas City, Mo.

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