Limerick Township is the second largest township in Montgomery County massing 22.6 square miles which grew from a rural community of just 6,600 residents in 1990 to 18,074 residents in 2010. The 2017 population is estimated at 19,000 and continues to grow at a moderate pace. Many records are required to be retained under the local government records management policy mandated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) through the Pennsylvania State Archives (PSA). The Township maintains approximately 100 miles of roadway, has over 7,000 parcel records and 600+ businesses. Other records required to be maintained include subdivisions and land developments, zoning hearing board appeals, rental property inspection reports, construction permits, storm water outfalls, traffic signals, roadway signs, and the list continues. With population growth tripling in the last 20 years, traditional paper file management of records became taxing and burdensome.
In keeping with Limerick Township Business Model’s expressed principle of improving efficiencies and reducing cost without a reduction in the level of service, in 2014 the Limerick Township Board of Supervisors authorized the Planning & Zoning Department to undertake a comprehensive effort to implement a Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS links map to databases, providing enhanced capabilities for data storage, retrieval, management, and analysis. By integrating the information with location, GIS provides better, faster, easier ways for staff to find answers to questions, streamline interdepartmental communications and facilitate open records requests. Projected to span multiple years, the rollout included the purchase of GIS software, replacing employee desktops with tablets for portability in the field, and dedicated staff & consultant time to data entry of maps and records into the system.
Currently, the Planning & Zoning, Public Works, and Emergency Services Departments are all utilizing the GIS system. In addition to electronic records keeping, the system has been tailored to facilitate each department’s operational requirements, assisting in the management of daily workflow. Both township staff and township consultants have management permissions for the assets they oversee which can be accessed anywhere that the internet is available. By streamlining the flow of information, township staff can provide accurate solutions in less time, which in turn saves money.