City permit center offers online electrical permits

The City of Bellingham’s permit center started offering permits for electrical work with a value of less than $1,500 online in January. Applicants can submit, review, pay and receive permits on the city’s website, which will eliminate the need for an estimated 1,800 trips to the permit center, according to a news release from the city.

Lara Palmatier, permit center supervisor, said the city offered online payment in response to requests from permit center users who wanted an online option.

“It is part of our effort at continuous process improvement,” Palmatier said in the release. “The number one request of permit center survey respondents has been the ability to pay online and issue permits online.”

Online payment is available for permits that cost up to $1,500. In the last two years, 38 out of about 3,600 permits exceeded $1,500, Palmatier said.

Dan Clapper, owner of JM Electric, estimates that his business requires about 15 electrical permits a month. The online process saves him about an hour per permit.

“It’s a time saver,” Clapper said in the news release. “Any way we can save time helps out.”



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