Streamlining new offices brings one-stop county shopping to builders, developers

Setting up shop in the Blount County Operations Center are, from left, Brad Boyers and Greg Moyers, environmentalists; Roger Fields, Building Commissioner; John Lamb, Planning Director; Jeff Chapman, Building Inspector; Marlene Hodge and Donna Neal, administrative assistants.

Setting up shop in the Blount County Operations Center are, from left, Brad Boyers and Greg Moyers, environmentalists; Roger Fields, Building Commissioner; John Lamb, Planning Director; Jeff Chapman, Building Inspector; Marlene Hodge and Donna Neal, administrative assistants.

Blount County codes offices are out to practice some good customer service.

First stop was to be one-stop.

When builders or developers start a project in Blount County, they often have to drive across town to different offices to get signatures, permits and plats. Now all they have to do is go to one location and walk down a hall.

It is all part of a new streamlining process County Mayor Ed Mitchell said was recently completed at the Blount County Operations Center on McArthur Road in Maryville.

“With the completion of the front office area at the Blount County Operations Center, builders and developers will find obtaining permits, signed plats, information and help in general has become more customer-friendly,” he said.

Planning, Storm Water, Environmental and Building and Codes Enforcement departments are now located together in one location. “This allows people needing to obtain permits and signed plats to have one location to receive all the county services they need,” the mayor said.

Before these offices were located at the courthouse and at the environmental building next to the justice center. “This is one-stop shopping which was originally initiated by Mayor Jerry Cunningham as a customer-friendly opportunity for the county’s citizens,” Mitchell said.

The mayor said county government should constantly be looking for ways to provide easier, more efficient services for citizens. “This allows developers and builders to walk in the doors and have everything they need by the time they reach the end of the hall,” said Mitchell. “They have talked with everyone involved in getting plats or building permits signed off,” Mitchell said.

The departments that moved were Environmental, Storm water, Codes and Building Inspections. Planning and Highway Departments were already located there, as was school maintenance, Mitchell said.

The mayor said the county should make it as easy as possible for builders and developers. “They have enough hoops they have to jump through. Any time you can make it easier for developers or builders, you’re doing what is right when you talk about revenue possibilities for the county,” Mitchell said. “If you are going to recruit business and development, you have to make it a process they’re not dreading to have to go through. It is important when people leave after interacting with Blount County government that they have a feeling they’ve been served.”

Gordon Wright Sr. dropped by the offices as the mayor was speaking with employees. The District 8-B commissioner said having the offices located together makes it easier for builders and developers. “The only other place they would have to go would be to 911 Communications,” he said. “It makes it a lot more user-friendly.”

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