New Britain Township
New Britain Township is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The population is 10,698 and the township covers 14.7 square miles. New Britain has 52 miles of township owned roads as well as an additional 20 miles of state owned roads. The township has 32 employees of which 9 are employed in administrative/office positions. Like many suburban Philadelphia communities, New Britain experienced rapid growth beginning in the early 1990’s continuing through the last decade. That growth brought many new residents and began the transformation from a primarily rural area to that of a more traditional suburban community.
Rapid growth put stress on the traditional methods of managing land development, zoning and code enforcement. Increased development increased the volume of paper- work making document management, storage and information retrieval exceedingly difficult and cumbersome. Customer service suffered and important matters sometimes fell between the cracks.
The Munilogic Solution
Munilogic municipal management software provided the solution to the Township’s need to streamline the land development, zoning and code enforcement processes and also provided a 21st century approach to document management.Prior to the installation of the Munilogic system, the Township stored all documents in old fashioned metal filing cabinets. All township maps were stored in file drawers. The simplest inquiry often took a much as 30 minutes to find the information and answer. The Township purchased the Munilogic core system that included the Property module, the communication package (e-mail, calendar, contacts), GIS mapping, reporting, document management and administration. In addition the subdivision, permitting and inspections, roadway, storm sewer, zoning and code enforcement modules were also installed. The implementation was completed in 2008 and the system has been operational for 18 months.
Using the GIS mapping capability, the township maps were converted to computer files that could be quickly accessed by every administrative employee. Details on the history of each property such as permit activity, code violations, zoning variances or changes in ownership were included. An ORTHO (aerial photography) overlay was also added. When the installation was complete, each employee had all the information related to every property in the township at their fingertips. Munilogic personnel trained all township employees in every facet of the program and provided a package of ongoing software updates and technical support.
Munilogic Municipal Software has successfully reduced the amount of paper being generated, filed and passed around the office by fully automating all zoning, land development, permitting and code enforcement processes. Munilogic has improved customer service and communication by putting all of the townships information in an easy to access and easy to use format available to every employee. Citizen inquiries and questions that used to require 30 minutes or more to find in the files and make a response are now answered in minutes. Tasks, such as zoning hearing notification, that used to take hours, are now done in a few minutes.
In addition to the document management, communication and process streamlining, New Britain Township uses Munilogic to:
Improve “right to know” effectiveness
Answer questions about potential development issues
Map and plan curb cuts to for ADA compliance
Map all sewer and water manholes
Map and manage the storm water system
Plan land preservation/open space strategies
Quickly identify fire zones
Quickly identify water zones
Help the police identify any issues with a property before taking action
Create monthly building and inspections reports
Provide citizen access to information via a counter top terminal
Township Manager, Eileen Bradley stated that Munilogic “is an extremely effective source of quick, accurate, reliable information.” She went on to say that at New Britain Township “every employee is expected to provide customer service. If we can’t answer a question while the customer is on the phone, we are not doing our job. Munilogic helps us find that answer right away.”
A recent new hire summed up the benefit of Munilogic for her: “It made it simple for me to become knowledgeable very quickly. It makes it easy to find information quickly” Munilogic transformed New Britain’s operational platform from a paper based, labor intensive model left over from the 1980’s into the picture of efficiency, speed and accuracy expected in the 21st century.