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Lincoln, Nebraska, Increases Efficiencies and Strengthens Relationship with Contractor Community

Accela expedites Lincoln’s planning, permitting and business licensing while maintaining current staffing levels

The City of Lincoln, Nebraska, has earned a reputation as one of the Midwest’s most beloved cities, and ranked #4 in 24/7 Wall St.’s “Best Run Cities in America” in 2013. Home to fine culinary and artistic treasures; a budding live music scene; breathtaking parks, golf courses and trails; and a friendly Midwestern attitude, Lincoln offers the exhilaration of a big city and the serenity of the countryside all in one place.

The Lincoln Development Services Center faced two key challenges that prevented staff from making efficient decisions: technology and organizational issues. The agency had outgrown its legacy ‘PERMITS Plus’ system and, as a result, the City was unable to take care of customers and contractors in a timely manner. The Mayor wanted to respond to the building community to improve application, review and inspection times and repair internal disconnects between Development Services Center-related department personnel and processes.


Lincoln implemented the Accela Civic Platform to streamline and automate planning, permitting and business licensing by offering traditional counter-based services online. The construction community was involved with beta testing to strengthen the agency’s relationship with the contractor community and help ensure the initiative’s success.

With Accela Mobile Office, Accela Citizen Access and Accela GIS, field staff and construction industry professionals can work in the field and be notified of any updates in real time without having to come into the City of Lincoln building.

According to Jim Walkenhorst, IS Project Supervisor with the Lincoln Development Services Center, “We have contractors out in the field. They can be out on a job site, and they can check with a smart device or an iPad. We have a number of contractors out there, and they have no paper—they’re all electronic. Everything is in their trucks. That’s how they do business. So, the big benefit is they get to stay out and do their work.”


By implementing Accela solutions, the Mayor’s objectives were met and the project implementation was completed $100k under budget. Furthermore, despite the increase in permitting activity, with 88,000 permits issued in 2012, no additional Full-Time Employees (FTEs) were required.

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