Supervisors approve 'One Stop' funds

Aim is to simplify permit process

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comOctober 31, 2012 

— The Merced County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the transfer of $100,000 from District 2 special funds to the One Stop Project -- a move they say will make the county more business-friendly.

The One Stop Project aims to streamline the permitting process for businesses by combining multiple departments and services under one roof. Some county officials believe the move will reduce the frustration experienced by business owners and entrepreneurs planning to do business in Merced County.

The cost of the project totals $192,000, according to Mark Hendrickson, director of commerce, aviation and economic development for Merced County. Supervisor Hub Walsh's special district funds will contribute more than half with the $100,000 transfer approved on Tuesday.

Doing business in California can be difficult because of lengthy and unaccommodating processes, but Hendrickson said the One Stop Project will simplify the process, fostering business growth and attracting new businesses.

"Our goal is to streamline the process and make our operations more efficient for the benefit of the business community who is looking to establish or expand a business in Merced County," said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson said the $100,000 will be used for two main purposes, including data migration -- which combines each department's computer system into one single software system.

"This will enable each department in the permit departments to speak a common language," Hendrickson said. "That means improved communication for the public."

The money will help put many of the county's services on the Internet, which will provide more timely information and the convenience of paying permits online, Hendrickson.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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