09 03 2014

Utility Billing To Soon Move Out Of City Hall

By Julie Vaughan
Editor
The city hall, located on Tyler Street, will close for business within the next few weeks and will only be open for meetings.
This comes after a unanimous vote by the Canton City Council, after being discussed on two different occasions.
When the closing takes place, all business operations will be handled at the City Office Complex (COC) located at 24980 East State Highway 64.
Currently the utility billing (water and sewer) is handled out of the city hall office located at 290 East Tyler Street.
The staff at city hall is supervised by city secretary Julie Seymore, and it was noted during last week’s meeting that it was difficult to cover the office when someone was out because the staff is not in one location.
“It is hard for her (Seymore) to have to come back and forth,” interim city manager Lonny Cluck told the council. “We feel like if we consolidate everyone and put them in place…as far as making it a smoother operation, I think it would be better for us.”
Cluck also said that many times if a customer has different needs they are sent to both offices which can also add to frustration.
Cluck said the city could leave a locked drop box at the city hall so citizens could still drop off their water bills if they did not want to drive out to the COC.
Currently the city council has moved forward on seeking an architect to redesigning city hall to make it more accessible to the handicapped and those attending meetings.
“Essentially we will be closing this building except for meetings,” mayor Cary Hilliard said during discussion.
He questioned how it would be air conditioned for meetings, and where he would office.
“The only thing that I would ask is if there is any extra space for me out there (COC),” Hilliard said. “That way if people do want to come out and talk to me they can.”
Council member Vicki Marshall Chambless asked how soon the move could take place, and Seymore said only telephones and computers would have to be reconfigured.
In other business the council:
-held a public hearing on the proposed tax rate of .42523 for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2012 and ending September 30, 2013.
“The average home value did go down this year by $856,” Seymore said. “Which is a decrease in taxes of about $3.64.”
She noted the average home value last year of $101,836 and the average home value this year is $100,980.
A second public hearing was held Tuesday and a final vote will held at their regular meeting set for September 11.
-approved the appointment of Vicki Goodson to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The seat is set to expire on May 31, 2013.
-approved the preliminary and final plat for 1.15-acre tract situated in the James Douthit Survey, A-198, Canton, located on State Highway 243 in Traders Village Shopping Center, owned by Traders Square Investments, LTD.

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