Jerome Township officials are working to improve the look of the township building and customer service policies within it.
During Tuesday’s trustees meeting, Director of Departments Douglas Stewart said changes are coming to the inside and outside of the Jerome Township building.
He said new stone siding on the lower portion of the building will be added “as early as tomorrow.” Metal siding above it and new gutters will be installed next week.
Stewart said Roads Division Supervisor Breht Fillinger has also been working on new landscaping around the building. He said the goal is to achieve a “low maintenance theme” so employees can focus their time on roads and maintenance throughout the township.
“This is the true, first real investment we’ve done to the building since it was built in ’83,” Stewart said.
Inside the building, Stewart said he worked with the company that helped install cameras and a sound system to livestream meetings, eGreen Computers, to acquire three, 65-inch televisions.
He said township officials have been hoping to replace the projector that is used by presenters, typically developers, during meetings. Stewart said attendees often struggle to see presentations because of the system in place.
“It’s 2020 and we should be a lot farther along in technology,” he said.
He said the televisions are “brand new, in-box” and were a surplus purchase from a company that was unable to return them.
For that reason, Stewart said the township was able to purchase them for approximately $3,000 including mounts and installation. He said they usually retail for between $2,200 and $3,000 each.
“This will be a lot cleaner and a lot more effective for us,” he said.
Zoning Inspector Eric Snowden said employees are also working to improve service provided within the building.
To do so, he suggested the township publish counter service hours.
“As the township grows, customer numbers are going up,” he explained.
He said most municipalities offer walk-up hours “slightly inside general hours” their offices are open.
Rather than offering customer service immediately when staff arrives until their work day ends, Snowden recommended a 30-minute buffer at the start and end of the day.
He asked trustees if he could publish counter service hours as 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., since staff works in the office from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
The zoning inspector specified that the hours are not to restrict residents but to “manage expectations” and facilitate good customer service.
If an individual arrived at 8:15, Snowden said they would be helped as soon as a staff member was able. Likewise, if a customer wouldn’t be “kicked out the door” at exactly 4 p.m.
He said he will also be available by appointment to accommodate for those who are unable to attend the regular service hours.
Trustee Joe Craft said he felt the published times were a good idea and encouraged Snowden to work with Stewart to “tweak” them if necessary.
In other business:
– Trustees approved a request from Rebecca Mott, attorney for the Farm at Indian Run development on McKitrick Road, to continue the public hearing until Aug. 18.
The public hearing was opened July 21. Trustees then continued the meeting until Aug. 4, after Mott’s presentation was met with opposition from numerous residents.
The developers will be present at the next meeting to discuss questions brought up by the board of trustees.
– Trustees approved bids to improve Monteray Drive, Lambka Road and Rickard Road.
Stewart said he was expecting bids to repave a large portion of Monteray Drive to come in at about $89,000. However, the township received a bid that is “considerably less than what we thought it would be” at $51,000.
Additionally, chip sealing portions of Lambka and Rickard roads will cost nearly $4,000.
Stewart said the township is reserving the rest of its roads budget because “we’re not sure what the winter’s going to do.” He said it will likely be used for catch basin repairs.
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