Once contractors have secured a job — no easy feat in this economy — they should have an easier time getting a permit to start work, thanks to an e-permitting system now offered for Ashland.

Once contractors have secured a job — no easy feat in this economy — they should have an easier time getting a permit to start work, thanks to an e-permitting system now offered for Ashland.

Contractors doing work in the city can now buy Quick Permits on the state's Web site, BuildingPermits.Oregon.gov.

Ashland began selling basic, non-plan-review plumbing and mechanical permits to contractors online on Monday. Medford and 31 other building departments in the state offer Quick Permits.

"Delivering quality customer service through streamlined processes is one of our top goals," said Mike Broomfield, an Ashland building official. "The portal will expedite the permitting process for everyone involved. We look forward to being able to utilize the time that will be saved and to offer our customers the convenience of purchasing permits online from their home or office anytime, 24/7."

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services' Building Codes Division hosts the Quick Permits site, which makes simple permits available at any hour of the day. Contractors can apply and pay for multiple permits from multiple jurisdictions in one transaction.

Within minutes of completing the permit purchase on the Web site, the contractor can print an "Authorization to Begin Work," post it at the worksite and get started on the project.

The e-permitting program is part of Gov. Ted Kulongoski's regulatory streamlining initiative, signed into law in March 2007. The law expanded Quick Permits to create the nation's first comprehensive, statewide e-building permit program.