Here’s what Lake County is doing to keep up with growth
Lake County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.
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With that growth, the county’s Office of Planning & Zoning and Office of Building Services are seeing a huge demand for services that is causing frustration in the community.
County officials have tried to improve things by moving from the main government building to other sites to have more space for people and to provide easier access to process their projects.
Justin Eason, an electrical contractor, said that the number of homes and businesses has increased.
“There’s just so much, like, new people coming to town and that type of stuff,” he said. “Everybody’s doing something.”
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Eason also said that he has experienced firsthand shorter processing times as he was able to receive his electrical license without waiting too long.
But only some have been so lucky.
County officials have received complaints from others about slow processing times with all the demand for services dealing with the growth.
Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks said he understands people’s frustration.
“It is frustrating,” he said. “Why is what should be, you know, a simple permit taking longer?”
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The issue came up Tuesday morning in a budget workshop during which the executive director of economic growth pointed out that per-population spending for planning and zoning is less than that of neighboring counties.
She also added that they are implementing a better workflow and have automated some services.
The county is also in the process of getting a new phone system.
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“Well, the last time I came, it was a little bit lengthy -- some confusion about some of the processes and stuff like that,” Eason added.
What he experienced is what Lake County officials are trying to change.
Parks said that part of the problem is due to staffing issues, and they are working to address that challenge.
“It’s hard to -- once you get a bad reputation -- it’s hard to get that back,” he said. “So we want to not have this be perpetuated; we want to address it and nip it in the bud right now.”
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The county also plans to use consultants to help with long-term planning.
They will continue to look at the budget to see if more money can be approved.
County officials said that large projects aren’t seeing long delays. Small- and medium-sized projects are the ones that have been affected.
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