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The Municipality of West Grey Building Department Adapts Quickly to Working Remotely During COVID-19

The Municipality of West Grey, Ontario

April 29, 2020

Municipalities across the province have had to conduct business differently in the wake of the COVID-19. The Municipality of West Grey, a mostly rural municipality south of Owen Sound, implemented Cloudpermit in January, which has allowed them to seamlessly adapt to the “new normal” of working from home, without interrupting service delivery.

“Cloudpermit allows our inspectors to do a lot more of their work remotely,” explained Karl Schipprack, Chief Building Official for West Grey. The two building inspectors on staff can review applications and documents, as well as submit their reports online. While they continue to visit some building sites, they can now input all their work on their tablets, further limiting their potential exposure to COVID-19. They can also work from home through Cloudpermit whenever they are not at a site.

Members of the public do not have to come to the municipal office to submit applications, which saves time and helps maintain social distancing. “We have one contractor in the area who submits anew application nearly every week. It took him much longer when we did not have e-permitting. He no longer has to visit the office, so he is very pleased with the new system,” said Karl.

Before Cloudpermit, staff would have passed each paper several times between individuals. Today, more paper in offices means exposing staff to potential viruses on the surface of the documents. While some municipalities are reducing risk by leaving paper in the mailbox for 24 hours before handling it, West Grey’s virtual documents in Cloudpermit are safe and ready for processing immediately.

Today, Karl is logged in from his country home outside Durham as he enjoys some extra quality time with his family and his Australian Shepherd mix, Cooper.