The Board of Curry County Commissioners is looking ahead to a handful of customer service changes with the beginning of 2020.
The biggest change will be new office hours, and a restructured Community Development Department.
After some controversy earlier this fall, the commissioners set standard operating hours for all departments that have public traffic, and those departments that support county department operations.
In November, the board unanimously agreed that county offices will be open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Offices will close for lunch, but will be available by special appointment if the public cannot meet during regular business hours.
The new hours take effect Jan 1.
Additionally, after years of the county’s two main development departments being in separate locations, the Planning Department and the Building Safety Department have merged into one office space and a shared reception counter.
The merged space provides for a customer to meet with both permitting divisions to discuss projects. And, said a county spokesperson, the new location allows a cost savings because of the shared reception staff.
In other cost-saving measures, according to the board, several free-standing departments have been placed under the supervision of one director. The Community Development Department, which once housed just planning and building services, now includes Planning, Building Safety, Code Enforcement, Surveying, Parks, Economic Development, and Emergency Services.
Recently, the commissioners voted to adopt new financial software so departments can more accurately prepare their budgets and track expenses.