News Release from The City of Wilmington:
Mayor Purzycki tosses out the City’s average 60-day review turnaround timeline; says this is the start of reforming the City’s permitting and inspection process.
Vowing to make the City more friendly and efficient for business development projects that help the City grow, Mayor Mike Purzycki and Acting Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams today announced a new, expedited process for the review and approval of water and sewer development plans. The Mayor said the revised review process will mean the approval process will take approximately 10 days instead of the current 60 days or more. Purzycki and Williams stressed that the 10-day review will be just as thorough as the current process, just faster.
“City government has to operate more efficiently and quickly when it comes to reviewing development plans and issuing permits,” said Mayor Purzycki. “There are about two dozen or so larger-scale development projects that come to the City annually for review. When they come our way, it’s the City’s duty to review them thoroughly and then pass judgement. These projects can mean jobs and revenue for the City, so the last thing we should do it unnecessarily delay the review process.” Purzycki said City government should be assisting and guiding these projects to completion, not being a hindrance as has happened in the past. “We are beginning to change the mindset within government and are about to reform the entire permitting and inspections process to make it more efficient and fair to everyone including businesses and residents.”
Acting Public Works Commissioner Williams said the City has contracted with the Wilmington-based engineering firm of RK&K to perform engineering and environmental reviews whenever the City’s current review process, which is housed in the Public Works Department, becomes overloaded or backed-up on projects. The City will pay RK&K $50,000 annually to keep the plans review process on a 10-day turnaround schedule. The Mayor said the new review process is in place and ready to receive proposals.
Purzycki, who has an extensive business and development background, said many of the reforms he is planning for the permitting, inspections and plans review processes come from the frustration he and others experienced in dealing with the City in the past. “There is a more efficient way to handle plans reviews and other services we provide to citizens,” said the Mayor. “Most encouraging is that many of our own employees who do this work every day are helping us figure out how to do things better. That’s because they are being asked for their ideas and solutions and that can make a world of difference in any type of operation.”
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