NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 29, 2016) – Customer service for landowners at Corps of Engineers lakes is being improved thanks to the ingenuity of several employees who recently developed an online program called Shoreline SharePoint, an online resource to electronically file permit applications.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District officials report that Shoreline SharePoint will eliminate stacks of forms and paperwork and result in quicker turnaround times for landowners. Switching to a digital system is expected to save taxpayers approximately $32,000 in labor costs and provide an environmental benefit with 12,000 sheets of paper saved per year.
Realty Specialist Courtney Eason along with park rangers Kathryn Wall and Carter Robinson are on the project development team. They are credited with shaping the new program with information technology experts to meet the administrative needs of the Corps of Engineers while serving the interests of the public.
Wall, natural resource specialist at Old Hickory Lake, said the resource management staffs at Nashville District lakes will at the click of a button be able to submit permit actions to the Real Estate Division located in Nashville, Tenn.
“The Shoreline SharePoint database captures all of the information for minor shoreline licenses such as electric lines, improved access, water withdrawals and water lines that relate to shoreline use from our adjacent landowners,” Wall said. “The SharePoint database will be an interactive process where the system is updated after every step.”
The new process begins March 1, 2016 with Old Hickory Lake serving as the pilot program location. Lake Barkley, Center Hill Lake, Lake Cumberland, Cheatham Lake and Cordell Hull Lake are expected to come onboard and begin using the program by late spring.
In the past, when an adjacent landowner inquired about the status of a license, a park ranger many times had to learn the position of a license by contacting Nashville’s Real Estate Division. This process usually took some time - time an inquiring customer may not have.
“This tool will help us to better assist our landowners.” said Kyle Beverly, a natural resources specialist at Cheatham Lake. “On any given day we receive phone calls or visitors to our Natural Resource Management Office to inquire about their minor shoreline license. Now we can give them an instant status update.”
Along with the Shoreline SharePoint database, comes a more up-to-date method on how payments for minor shoreline licenses are accepted. Previously, a Nashville District customer of a minor shoreline license had to pay for the bill by mailing a personal, bank, or cashier’s check. Come this spring, customers can pay the bill at www.Pay.gov or over the phone. Payment methods accepted by Pay.gov are debit card, credit card and bank account (ACH) payments.
“Landowners often request to pay by credit card and unfortunately we did not have an efficient method to do so.” said Wall. “The Nashville District offering the Pay.gov amenity is a huge stride in our mission to provide the best customer service we can!”
Jodi Hermey, an adjacent landowner at Old Hickory Lake is one of the first license customers to pay her bill through Pay.gov before the official March 1st commencement. Hermey said, “I would like to thank you for allowing me to renew my permit online. The procedure was very easy to maneuver and a lot more convenient.”
Real Estate Division Management and Disposal Chief Ashley Klimaszewski is excited about the positive changes the team is bringing for the agency and everyone impacted directly or indirectly.
“Implementing the Shoreline SharePoint database and Pay.gov payment system is a great way to offer better services to our clients,” Klimaszewski said. “Both programs will help streamline the communication for all parties involved in the license process. From our adjacent land owners, to the natural resource management offices, and the Real Estate Division team.”
The Nashville District manages 3,048 miles of boundary line at its 10 lakes within the Cumberland River Basin in Tennessee and Kentucky.
(For news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District go to the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)