Contractors, developers and others doing business with Lower Makefield Township’s Community Development Department should soon find the experience more user friendly.
The township supervisors voted unanimously at their June 15 meeting to approve a five-year agreement with OpenGov. Citizen Services to install and maintain software that will allow people to complete permitting and other processes electronically.
Jim Majewski, director of the Community Development Department formerly known as Building and Planning, said the deal will cost the township $73,080 in the first year and $32,750 a year after that. He said the system will allow employees to process permit applications, complaints and other items all electronically, reducing the time to handle those matters and cutting down on phone calls, among other advantages.
Majewski added that people using the department’s services can opt to still do things without taking advantage of the new software if they choose, though the supervisors expressed hope that most would use it.
Answering a question from Supervisor Daniel Grenier, an OpenGov. representative said the software can be expanded into the Parks and Recreation Department for an additional $5,000 a year if the board wants to go with that option at some point in the future.
Majewski said he and other Community Development Department employees spoke to about 12 software vendors before unanimously deciding to recommend OpenGov.
In other actions from the meeting, the board voted unanimously to advertise for bids on Phase One drainage improvements in the township’s Maplevale section, which was hit hard by flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida in September.
Board members also voted unanimously to have its solicitor attend and participate in a scheduled July 5 Zoning Hearing Board meeting where the ZHB will consider variances needed for a Yardley Kids Academy day care operation at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection at 1700 Makefield Road.
The variances, if granted, would allow day care at a location where it otherwise would not be permitted, allow an outdoor play area in the front yard and also permit that area to be smaller than normally required. Four residents, including two church members, spoke in favor of the variances at the June 15 Supervisors meeting.
It was the last Lower Makefield Supervisors meeting for township Manager Kurt Ferguson. He is resigning effective July 4 to take the same job in Upper Dublin Township, Montgomery County, though he will continue working for Lower Makefield on a part-time consulting basis after his resignation to help finish some major projects, including a new police contract.
“A big thank you,” Supervisors Chairman James McCartney told Ferguson, who has been Lower Makefield’s manager since 2018.
“You are a rock star and this township will desperately miss you.”