County receives two national awards for innovative
(Port Orchard) – Kitsap County was recently
recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) for
implementing innovative county government programs to better serve area
residents. Kitsap County received NACo Achievement Awards for the
RePower Kitsap Program and the Department of Community Development's
(DCD) rework of the single family permit process. Board of County
Commissioners chair Josh Brown is proud of the awards. "This is a great
example of how Kitsap County continues to develop new ways to provide
services to our residents and increase efficiencies in the way we
deliver these service," said Brown. "it's just two examples of the many
innovations I've seen in County operations," Brown added.
DCD Single Family Permit Rework
In collaboration with the Kitsap County Homebuilders Association, DCD
tackled its processing of single family permits in July, 2012, with the aim
of reducing the time it takes to approve a permit. NACo awarded the
Department a National Achievement Award for these efforts.
"Seven years ago we realized the system was broken," said County
Commissioner Chair Josh Brown. "We've worked directly with the Department,
local residents and the building community to find ways to streamline the
permitting process," Brown added.
Listening to customers and using Lean process improvement methodologies, the
Department reduced the number of “in-house” processing days for approval
from 26 calendar days to an average of 10-14 calendar days depending on
submittals. It increased the number of first time approvals from 4% to 55%.
Customer surveys show that over 75% of those applying for a residential
permit are satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service and help
they’ve received from the Department. While processing times were
significantly improved, the code standards were not reduced, thus ensuring
the permitted activity met federal, state, and local laws and codes; nor
were new staff hired.
“The Department’s transformation has been hard work by everyone during some
of the most trying times any organization could endure," said Director Larry
Keeton. "Yet, these folks demonstrated, and continue to demonstrate, the old
DCD is dead and buried. This National Award speaks highly of the
professionalism of this team. It’s a job well done, an award well deserved,"
The project was a collaborative effort. "The award isn’t the Department’s
alone," said Keeton. "The Board of Commissioners was instrumental in
providing the necessary political and financial support to implement the
Lean process. And, the Kitsap County Homebuilders Association had members
volunteer their valuable time to help identify issues and solutions. This
has truly been a productive partnership that benefits the community as a
whole," said Keeton.
The NACo Achievement Award program is a non-competitive program that
recognizes counties for improving the management of and services provided by
county government. Since the program’s inception in 1970, the NACo
Achievement Award program has honored thousands of county government
initiatives that have improved service delivery, achieved greater cost
efficiency, provided finer customer service, and helped to develop a
better-trained work force.
RePower Kitsap Program
Kitsap County used Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant funding to
launch the RePower Kitsap program in February 2011. RePower Kitsap is a
County-wide program dedicated to helping residents save money through energy
efficiency, as they increase the comfort, health and safety of homes, and
create local jobs. RePower Kitsap provides in-home energy assessments,
energy-efficiency financing and incentives, and a local, skilled workforce
to make achieving these goals easier and more affordable. Kitsap County
partnered with the City of Bainbridge Island to establish a low-interest
energy efficiency loan program with Kitsap Credit Union to provide access to
financing for energy efficiency projects.
The County also partnered with the Washington State University Energy
Office, Conservation Services Group, Washington State Department of
Commerce, Puget Sound Energy, and Cascade Natural Gas to provide extensive
marketing and incentives for the completion of home energy upgrades.
The RePower Kitsap program has helped address an important need in the local
community for improved comfort in homes, reduced energy bills and increased
job opportunities. This effort aligns well with Kitsap County’s internal
energy conservation program and synergizes internal efforts to conserve
energy and save taxpayer dollars with direct actions taxpayers can take to
save energy in their own homes. A summary of key accomplishments of the
RePower Kitsap program is provided below.
Funded more than 500 home energy
assessments in 12 communities throughout Kitsap County from
February 2011-November 2012.
Completed 19 post-upgrade energy
assessments to compare EPS values before and after energy
upgrades took place. Upgrades completed at these homes saved
164,000 kWh in annual electricity use.
Funded 32 loans through May 2013 to
provide over $246,000 in energy upgrades for County homes.
Created more than six local jobs for
previously un-employed and under-employed construction
professionals and provided training in conducting home
Repower Kitsap web site:
DCD's Lean Process Video:
NACo Achievement Awards web site: