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City Hall to reopen on Friday mornings

Scott Franz
Susan Saari answers the phone Wednesday afternoon at Steamboat Springs City Hall. Almost all city offices will be open again on Friday mornings starting Aug. 5.
Scott Franz

— Starting this week, the city of Steamboat Springs will begin unlocking the doors to City Hall on Friday mornings for the first time in seven years.

The reopening of City Hall and other city offices on Fridays means residents will once again be able to conduct almost all forms of city business at the end of the work week.

The city, in 2009, decided to close City Hall to the public on Fridays and extend hours on other days of the week as part of a budget-balancing furlough program that reduced city employees’ hours and wages by 10 percent.

The changes to the city office operating hours were estimated to save the city $335,000 per year in 2009.

City Manager Gary Suiter said Wednesday it will cost about $4,000 this year to staff the front office and keep the doors to City Hall open on Friday mornings again.

There also will be some costs to staff the finance department.

Most city departments with the exception of the municipal court staff will be available now from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays.

The city’s planning department has already been open for business on Fridays in Centennial Hall, and it will continue to remain open.

The changes also mean residents can visit the Parks and Community Services offices near the Howelsen Ice Arena on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Council President Walter Magill praised the city’s decision to open city offices on Fridays again.

“I think it’s a public enhancement,” he said.

Suiter said city staff who work in the city offices on Fridays have seen a fair number of residents coming up to the locked doors only to realize City Hall is closed.

Earlier this summer, Suiter started having staff keep track of the number of people who visit City Hall.

From May 4 to 31, a time Suiter deemed to be the off-season, City Hall served 762 residents, or an average of 51 people per day.

The city had 255 customers make deposits in the drop box.

Suiter estimated City Hall serves more than 12,000 walk-up customers each year.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10


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