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New Software Provides Online Option for Permits

Post Date:03/01/2019 12:00 PM

The City of Ames Inspection Division has launched a new permitting portal, Citizen Self Service (CSS), through the City’s website that provides easy access and 24-hour convenience for customers. The online option gives users access to several Inspections functions, including applying for permits, requesting inspections, and paying for services. The new system can be accessed at

“We are excited for the benefits the new portal will give our customers,” said Building Official Sara Van Meeteren. “We are transitioning from a paper system to a digital option, and customers are no longer limited to our office hours. While we know the new system will take some adjusting, we are here to help with any questions.”

In 2017, the Inspection Division implemented a new software system called EnerGov to manage building and trade permits, plans, inspections, and code cases internally. The final phase of implementation of EnerGov is opening up the online Citizen Self Service. CSS provides customer access to these Inspections options from a computer, tablet or smart phone:

  • Create an account
  • Submit building and trade permits
  • Request inspections and view inspection results
  • Make payments
  • Print permits and invoices

“Additionally, CSS will increase public access to permitting information, provide a permit fee cost estimator, and allow the public to run basic reports online,” Van Meeteren added.

As part of implementing the new portal, permits will be submitted and paid at the same time, and no permits will be issued without payment. For basic permits such as the installation of water heaters, furnaces, or sump pumps, customers will apply for the permit, pay the fee, and schedule an inspection at the same time. Permits that require more review will be issued an invoice when the permit is approved. Once paid, the permit status will be updated. This allows the customer to print the permit from the portal and schedule any needed inspections.

Details explaining CSS and the new payment process are available on the City’s website. Guides and YouTube videos show users how to navigate the new system. These upgrades are designed to streamline access to Inspections’ services, provide greater convenience, and improve customer service. Using technology is continuing to change the way the Inspection Division handles its day-to-day operations.

“EnerGov gave our inspectors the ability to conduct inspections with the use of an iPad. Thanks to this technology, inspectors can update inspection information in the field providing customers with real time inspection results,” Van Meeteren said.

For additional questions or assistance with the new system, contact the Inspection Division by phone at 515.239.5153 or by email at

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