FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2008
Contact: Alisa Cour, 503.823.4017
(Portland, OR) The Bureau of Development Services has been selected to showcase its popular Field Issuance Remodel (FIR) Program at the National League of Cities’ City Showcase. Held November 11 – 15 in Orlando, Florida, the City Showcase is an annual exhibition of successful, creative programs from cities and towns across the country, attracting more than 4,000 of the nation's officials.
"We are proud to be recognized as a cutting edge program and are eager to share our success with others interested in the FIR concept from around the country," said Jed Scheuermann, Focused Residential Programs Section Manager.
The FIR Program started as a pilot project five years ago with one inspector. It now has three full time inspectors and has enjoyed tremendous growth and support from its members. Participating in the program means that contractors rarely have to go downtown to obtain permits because the FIR inspector is present on-site before a project begins to review and approve plans, troubleshoot issues and conduct inspections. This helps to eliminate some of the remodeling surprises early on, allows customers to start work more quickly and provides a single-point-of-contact to the contractor.
The FIR Program owes its popularity in part to a guiding philosophy of providing unparalleled customer service. The continued demand for the FIR Program’s services has allowed the bureau to expand the program to include nearly 80 contractors and provide increased focus on contractors specializing in sustainable building.
"For me as a contractor, the FIR Program has delivered on all of its promised benefits," says Kathryn Merritt of Great Kate Construction Company. "A streamlined permitting and inspection process and working with individuals who understand and appreciate the challenges of construction is essential."
Cities and towns chosen to participate in the City Showcase are small and large, rural and urban, from all corners of the United States, reflecting the diversity of the nation. City programs focus on economic development, neighborhood revitalization, public safety, youth, public works, human services, environment, and recreation, just to name a few. Prior year's City Showcase participants illustrate the broad range of programs and diversity of cities and towns highlighted.
The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages.
About the Bureau of Development Services (BDS):
The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) promotes safety, livability and economic vitality through efficient and collaborative application of building and development codes. BDS staff reviews and issues approximately over 50,000 building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and sign permits, along with performing 217,000 permit inspections and 1,300 land use reviews for residential and commercial properties. For more information visit our website at www.portlandonline.com/bds.