City staffers in Lewiston and Auburn will be testing new computer programs next week as efforts to creating a joint planning and permitting system move forward.

The Twin Cities are hoping to begin using the EnerGov Solution software suite in the planning, permitting and land use departments near the end of June. That’s the first phase of a project that will eventually let citizens apply for permits, pay fees and take care of other city business on their computers.

Representatives from Georgia-based EnerGov software spent part of April in Lewiston and Auburn, meeting with planning and permitting staff to document the tasks they perform. That information is being used to tweak the software suite, making it work for Lewiston and Auburn.

“This week we’ll be doing web demos,” said Laurie Smith, Auburn’s assistant city manager. “We’re going through the company’s work flows, testing to make sure they work for us.”

Company representatives are due back in June to begin installing the applications.

Lewiston and Auburn began working in October toward adopting a shared software system. They agreed to purchase EnerGov’s suite of six software modules designed especially for community government.

The suite includes modules that keep track of development projects working through the city review process, monitor building permits, track building inspections and automatically calculate fees and keep track of special licenses, including liquor licenses and special amusement permits.

Another module lets residents and contractors take care of many city government functions over the Internet, including applying for permits, checking the status of development projects and scheduling inspections.

Smith said EnerGov will begin modifying software for the next phase in July. That will be software designed to track permits issued through the City Clerk’s office, a mobile application for city inspectors and the portal for citizens. Smith said those applications should be ready in October.

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