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Civic Center lobby to be revamped

Permit functions to be relocated to 157 Main St. through mid-June

When it comes to receiving services from various departments at the city offices, Community Development Director Brian Dolan said people would end up succumbing to the pinball effect.

The current setup at 200 Old Bernal Ave. has a horseshoe-shaped, tall counter houses planning, business license, cashier, laserfiche machines and permit services. If people need multiple services, they often must move back and forth, without and opportunity to sit at the counter. Dolan said a team of customers were put to the task of coming up with a "better public counter experience."

The plan is to tear out the current counter and replace it with a lower one that is in a straight line. People would be able to sit and each station would have a computer to help with looking up documents. There will also be a single reception desk and waiting room added, as well as a small conference room, to better serve the estimated 200 people coming through each day.

"For our regular customers, it will be more comfortable, but not a dramatic difference," Dolan said. "This is targets at people who don't come that often and are intimidated by the city hall process."

The plans for this project were approved in early January, with construction planned to start March 16. If all runs according to schedule, the new lobby will be completed by mid-June. Until that time, the city is moving its permit functions to 157 Main St. starting next Monday, March 8.

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