With a continued focus on its commitment to service excellence, the City of Newark recently modified the layout of the municipal building to better serve its customers. The Planning and Development Department was relocated to the first floor, effectively directing 85% of walk-in visits to the newly renovated customer service hub, which allows visitors to pay utility bills, obtain building permits, receive information about property maintenance requirements, or sign up for Parks and Recreation programs and services. In addition to having direct access to these services, those visiting the customer service hub will no longer be required to sign in or show I.D. at the Welcome Center.
"We know a majority of the visitors to the municipal building are coming to address a payment, request information or access services or programs offered by the City," said acting city manager Tom Coleman. "These modifications will allow them to do so with greater ease and access."
With this change, elevators and stairwells will require authorized access. Visitors meeting with staff beyond the customer service hub will be greeted in the lobby and guided to a designated meeting space. The current sign-in procedure, including producing a state-issued I.D., will remain in place for those with needs beyond what is provided at the customer service hub. Guests are encouraged to schedule appointments with staff to ensure their availability.
"Residents will often visit with staff to ask questions or discuss issues impacting them and their neighbors and we want those interactions to continue," said Coleman. "While not mandatory, scheduling appointments with staff will ensure they are able to dedicate the time necessary to research, prepare and address any questions or concerns that may arise. This will allow for more productive interactions and for our staff to be more effective and efficient with their time."
In addition to the reorganization efforts, minor modifications are being made to the municipal lobby to create a more comfortable and welcoming space for those waiting to meet with staff. All updates and renovations are expected to be completed and in effect by Wednesday, July 5.