New vision for Wainfleet Building Department

Township of Wainfleet press release – As a result of several years of tireless work from numerous staff members and departments, Wainfleet’s Building Department has taken a major step forward this week by introducing a new and more efficient approach to providing service to Wainfleet residents.

“Since its inception in 2018, the Protective Sevices Department, comprised of Building and By-Law Enforcement, has been continually evolving to provide more efficient and enhanced customer experience,” said Lee Gudgeon, Manager of Human resources and Protective Services.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Wainfleet’s Building Department quickly adapted to these unprecedented times by implementing an all-digital permit process and arranging for electronic payments in order to maintain service levels through the Emergency Orders and subsequent closure of Town Hall. The success of this temporary solution demonstrated the need for a more permanent e-permitting solution to help meet ongoing needs while protecting staff and customers with the onset of a “New Normal” for municipal service delivery in a pandemic environment.

“Wainfleet’s new Chief Building Offical, Dave Methot, has been working with us for several years providing specialized building services to assist the building department, and has been involved with this process from the beginning,” said Gudgeon. “The combination of professional experience and background with the Township makes him a natural candidate to spearhead this crucial project.”

As of this week, residents and home builders will be able to apply for permits, pay for permits, submit drawings, book inspections and track their permits online, all from the comfort of their own home or office – resulting in faster, more efficient service without the need to visit Townhall in person.

Wainfleet Mayor Kevin Gibson welcomed the changes.

“The introduction of Cloudpermit allows for enhanced collaboration between departments, more transparent communication with applicants and a stronger partnership with the building community. These changes will go a long way toward making Wainfleet a desirable place to build,” he said. “This is an example of Wainfleet leading the way with a fully automated system and we’re pretty proud of that.”

The online Cloudpermit process, which has been tested as a pilot program for the past six months, officially launched this week to coincide with the recent upgrade of the Township’s website – another project intended to improve communication and service to residents.

Residents or builders wishing to apply for a building permit can do so by visiting the Building Department webpage on the Township’s website. The response from those who have used the system already has been overwhelmingly positive, with many contractors in particular, citing the ability to apply easily for multiple permits, submit drawings and payments online as being a welcome time-saver for them.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to many municipalities the importance of flexibility and being able to to provide services in new and innovative ways and we are doing just that,” said CBO Methot, while emphasizing that personal service will always still be available. “There are those who may not have the technical capability to use the new services and we will always make ourselves available to assist where needed.”

Future stages of the Building Department’s development will include the continued professional development of existing staff to provide additional support in the reviewing of applications.

While a robust support portal is available to assist residents and builders, information sessions for contractors and home builders to explore and learn about the new Cloudpermit system are planned for later this year, as circumstances allow.