Port Angeles City Hall hours expanded; customer service, utility bill payment to be available Friday afternoons starting in March
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Kathy Emery, customer service representative for the city of Port Angeles, works at a temporary counter at City Hall on Wednesday while a new counter is being built in the background. Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — City residents will soon have at least 30 minutes more per day to turn in utility bill payments and consult customer service staff now that City Council members have expanded City Hall hours.

“I’m so happy to see this ordinance at long last,” Councilwoman Cherie Kidd said before the unanimous vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

The new hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with the customer service counter open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. those days at City Hall at 321 E. Fifth St.

Byron Olson, city chief financial officer, said the new hours for all days but Friday will begin soon.

The expanded hours on Fridays will wait until improvements adding service counter partitions for customer privacy and a wheelchair-accessible counter are completed in the city’s customer service area.

The work is being completed primarily on Fridays.

“Our target date is sort of March 7, but it could slip to the 14th,” Olson said Wednesday.

The change is in response to public complaints since the hours were cut in 2009 to from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Fridays to save on staff costs, City Manager Dan McKeen said.

The change to longer hours will be accomplished within the present budget, McKeen has said.

Kidd said the half-day on Fridays never made sense to her since that is a payday for most.

“We’re here to serve the public,” Kidd said. “This house is the house of the people.”

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 19. 2014 6:37PM
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