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Milwaukee County automates application processes - saves 60+ minutes per application

Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County, WI

As one of the first departments to take advantage of a new automated customer-friendly online portal, the Milwaukee County Parks Special Events Department is trading filing cabinets for online efficiencies thanks to govService.

Topics Covered

Civic Technology
Customer Service
Process Improvement


Initial: Zero Upfront Cost


Federal grants

Project Status

Operational since 2022

Gov Champion


Problem Addressed

Milwaukee County Special Events Department's application wasn't intuitive for residents and workflows required staff manhours.

Handling requests for everything from weddings to photography shoots to local events, the special events department’s long paper applications presented a cumbersome process, and required manhours to process, sort, and update.

“It was fairly cumbersome,” said Guy Smith, Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Parks and Recreation Department. “It was paper-heavy, and just so many steps and not necessarily intuitive for event organizers. You do have PR people and professional event organizers where it just becomes second nature. But for the average resident, that process just wasn’t intuitive.”

Solutions Used

The county used funds from the CARES Act to build an easy-to-use online portal that made the process easier for residents and staff. 

Milwaukee County used funds from the CARES Act to develop “MyCounty,” an online portal powered by Granicus’ govService solution, that focuses on expediting access to county services.

It’s part of what Guy Smith, Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Parks and Recreation Department called a “No Wrong Door” philosophy.

“Users don't necessarily need to know that this department does this or this division does that,” he said. “They're just able to get the information or service they need.”

The approach dovetailed into the remote access work that became a requirement during the pandemic. The development and integration of govService for the Milwaukee County team was done over four months, starting in Sept. 2020, and launching in early 2021.

CARES Act Funding offered the chance to develop solutions for many of the county’s departments. Laura Bahr, Business Analyst for Milwaukee County, said that over 60 IT projects were submitted for access to CARES Act funds.



50% less time for residents to complete automated application


60-90 minutes savings in staff time per application


Increased accuracy of event information and details by capturing event data in one place

Who Should Consider

Any local government agency interested in increasing efficiency and transparency in their services.

Last Updated

Mar 23rd, 2022

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