Business

County to open Fridays in June

A final approval was made last week to open county offices to the public on Fridays starting the week of June 15.

Commissioners approved an ordinance during their May 12 regular meeting that finally rolled back staffing and office hours cutbacks dating back to 2009.

“I’m grateful that our economy has come back that we are able to sustain this,” said Commissioner Helen Price Johnson. “I hope it’s helpful to folks.”

“Having access to county services it a important part of renewal and development.”

Last year’s budget revealed that the county had started to recover from the recession, and commissioners have been slowly reviving programs and services that have been cut for several years.

The closure of the departments such as Planning, Public Health, the Auditor and others was troublesome to real estate brokers and builders who have complained about delays due to lack of access and delayed permitting.

“I agree that this is a good moment for Island County,” said Commissioner Jill Johnson. “It is important for our community to do transactional business five days a week.”

“This allows that.”

New hours for county administrative services are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, including offices for the treasurer, auditor, assessor and commissioners.

The public counters for Public Works, Planning and Public Health will reopen on Fridays, but the Monday-Friday public schedule will be shortened slightly 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of its current 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Department heads have argued that Fridays have provided staff much needed quiet time to complete tasks without public interruption, and the closure during the 3-4:30 p.m. time period each day is intended to allow for that.

Camano Annex hours will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

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