Dropbox to remain downtown; Broad Street to be closed temporarily

By Kellen Olshefski

Correspondent

The City of Elkhorn is planning on moving its staff from downtown to the new building late the second week of July, with full service to the public expected to begin at the new location on July 12.

City Administrator Jim Heilman said the way things are progressing, staff is looking to move into the new building July 8 and 9, with furniture being moved in roughly two weeks earlier and other items moved over earlier to ensure a smooth transition for staff.

Heilman said he would anticipate city services would be closed the two days of the move to allow time for technology equipment to be moved and setup at the new location by that Friday and have offices setup so they can begin to see customers again on Monday, July 12.

Alderman Scott McClory asked if the city had a continuity plan – to have some staff available if city residents were to need something during the move. For instance, if someone were to move into a new apartment over those days and need to contact the city about having utilities turned on.

City Clerk Lacey Reynolds said while they will have to move all the staff computers those two days, employees do have laptops as well, which would allow them to be available to help customers if needed.

Reynolds also noted that staff will still be receiving and checking messages, and returning calls to residents during that time as well.

Mayor Bruce Lechner said he agreed with McClory, noting there should be at least one person available to the public if needed.

As part of the move, Heilman said they will likely have to close off the northbound lane of South Broad Street to traffic at Geneva Street to ensure moving trucks have enough space.

Department of Public Works Manager Matt Lindstrom said that in talking with the moving company, the road would only be closed during business hours, and will reopen after the last load of the day leaves for the new building.

Alderman Gary Payson Jr. suggested shutting down the entire road during the moving hours in an effort to eliminate traffic entirely and make it easier for fire department vehicles to get in and out of the station during those hours if needed.

“Getting traffic through here with those big trucks and guys trying to haul all that stuff, that’s just not functional,” Heilman said of closing the street for the moving trucks. “So, closing down the whole street, we can do that if that’s better.”

With the move to the new building, which is on Seymour Court, Alderman Ron Dunwiddie requested the city find a way to keep a dropbox in the downtown area for residents to drop off payments.

“There’s a lot of people that drive down here and walk down to make utility payments. It’s going to be a hardship for a lot of people to drive down there, let alone now,” Dunwiddie said.

“There’s a lot of people living week-to-week on their paychecks, and I was hoping that the council would consider maybe having a utility dropbox for payment over by the outside of the police department where it’s lit up and it’s secured with cameras,” he added.

Dunwiddie said that idea would of course be with Police Chief Joel Christensen’s approval, in which case, police department staff would bring the contents of the dropbox to the new building when other correspondence is being dropped off.

Christensen said that’s definitely a possibility, but the city would need to acquire approval from Walworth County because the actual grounds are owned by the county and not the city.

Heilman noted that Matheson Memorial Library staff said they would also be willing to host the dropbox.

Councilmembers agreed they would like city staff to pursue the possibility of placing a dropbox at the police department with Walworth County, and keep the library as an option if getting approval from the county turns into a lengthy process or doesn’t work out.

 

 
 

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