County chooses contract for developmental services software


By Marshall Dunham

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is purchasing new software for the Development Services (building and planning) Department.

In a regular meeting held by the BoCC on Oct. 20, it was decided that the county would enter into a contract with The Sidwell Company for the purchase of new software that will simplify the permitting process in addition to allowing automated permit tracking.

“We have, in the past year or so, been forced to keep track of our building permits on an Excel spreadsheet,” explained Bentley Henderson, Archuleta County’s administrator.

Henderson then explained the advantages of the software, including the automation of the permitting process, as well as allowing the public to check the status of a permit.

Automated building permitting does not mean the software would automatically approve permits, but that it will calculate fees, as well as accomplish other steps in the permitting process without needing human interaction or supervision, which simplifies the permitting process and will reduce the time it takes to approve or deny a permit.

The company that is providing the software, The Sidwell Company, is also the same company that provides geographic information services (GIS) software for the county, Henderson later noted.

“It consolidates the support services into an organization,” Henderson said, referring to one company servicing both sets of software. “We are confident in the company we have chosen. They’ve been around for quite a while and, so far, our experience with the geographical information service has been very good and very supportive.”

The county entered into a GIS contract with Sidwell in June. The county entered into the new contract with Sidwell on Oct. 20.

According to Henderson, the permitting software was chosen after the county solicited bids for software.

The contract is divided into two phases, with the BoCC only approving phase I at the meeting. Phase II is expected to start in 2016, but has yet to be approved.

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