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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2003
CONTACT: Eric Bosch, Manager of Design & Construction Services, Architectural Services, Public Works Department, (816) 513-2517

Strategic plan for moving City offices announced

Improving efficiency, customer service and accessibility to the public are the goals of a strategic plan to physically consolidate and reallocate office space within City Hall and other City facilities. City Manager Wayne Cauthen today announced the recommendations developed by the City’s Space Allocation Committee.

“We are moving people to make city government operations more efficient by consolidating workspace in some departments and divisions,” said Cauthen. The plan calls for development of a centralized permitting center, easy-access bill paying, a more functional committee meeting room for presentations, and physical consolidation of services and operations of several departments. The departments include: City Planning and Development, Codes Administration, Fire, Law, Public Works and Water Services.

While some of the recommendations have money already allocated, funding has not yet been identified for some of the proposed projects. Cauthen said the City should move forward anyway, because the plan is strategic to the overall efficiency of city government.

The following space reallocation recommendations have been accomplished or are in progress:
The Office of Emergency Management moved from City Hall into the renovated Century Towers Building at 635 Woodland Ave. in May. This relocation provided Emergency Management adequate space to coordinate and set up an efficient Emergency Operations Center in the event of an emergency. This project was funded through Local Use Tax and Public Safety Sales Tax funds at a cost of $730,547.
The Water Services Department is in the process of moving from the first and fifth floors of City Hall to 4800 E. 63rd St. The Engineering Division, which had been leasing space in Oak Towers, also will move to the new location. This relocation will consolidate functions of Water Services into one building with 93,000 square feet of occupied space, allowing divisions to interact more efficiently and provide better access to citizens. Customers also will be able to pay water bills and get water permits in City Hall. The $7.4 million project will be completed this month.
Enterprise Resource Planning will expand into space on the third floor of City Hall. The move will be completed by August at an estimated cost of $234,500. The Enterprise Resource Planning project will improve the finance, payroll, tax collection and human resource applications used by City personnel in City operations and constituent services.
A new committee meeting room will be created on the 10th floor of City Hall. This will provide space for some City Council committee meetings. The new space will include presentation areas and audio/video capabilities. The space also can be used for the weekly Business Session meeting for the City Manager, Mayor and City Council. The room is being financed with capital improvement funding and will be completed in August. The estimated cost is $150,000.

The following projects are funded and will begin soon:
The Fire Administration and Director’s office will relocate from City Hall to the Century Towers Building at 635 Woodland Ave. This location will house the Fire Administration Bureau, Fire Marshal Bureau, Community Service Bureau and Professional Development Bureau. This project will be funded by the Fire Department Sales Tax. The cost estimate for the project is $525,000 and it is expected to be completed by October.
A centralized permitting center is being developed for the fifth floor of City Hall. This space will combine permitting functions for the Public Works Department, Department of Codes Administration and Water Services Department. The goal is to consolidate these functions on one floor, expediting the amount of time customers spend to obtain building and other permits. A fire suppression and enhanced voice evacuation system will be part of the renovation. This project will be financed by capital improvement funding, the Department of Codes Administration and the Public Works Department. Construction completion of this space is set for January 2004. The cost estimate for this project is $100,000.
The City Planning and Development Department will relocate some of its divisions to the 16th floor, increasing the efficiency of internal operations and allowing groups that exchange information and cooperate on certain projects to share the same floor. City Planning and Development will then occupy the 14th, 15th and 16th floors in City Hall. Minor cosmetic improvements will be made in conjunction with this project. The work will be funded by the City Planning and Development Department. The project is estimated to cost about $22,500 and should be completed by August.
The Architectural Services Division of the Public Works Department will reallocate space on the 17th floor of City Hall. Internal relocation of staff will improve the project teams’ coordination for design and construction of Public Works projects. Minor cosmetic improvements will be made in conjunction with this reallocation. The Public Works Department will fund this project. Work should be completed by September at an estimated cost of $31,000.

The following projects are being considered but have not been funded:
Plans are under way for the development of multi-committee/meeting rooms for council committees, Mayoral committees, and public hearing rooms on the sixth floor of City Hall. This floor also is being reviewed for use by the City Communications Office for a television studio, and production and office space.
The Streets and Traffic Division of the Public Works Department will relocate to the 18th floor. This will consolidate the Public Works Department to the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th floors of City Hall. A fire suppression and enhanced voice evacuation system will be included in the renovation. Capital improvement funding and the Public Works Department will fund this project. Completion of the construction of this space is scheduled for spring of 2004.
The space on the first floor of City Hall being vacated by the Water Services Department will be designed for expansion of the Action Center, Credit Union and Finance Department.
The 22nd and 23rd floors of City Hall are planned for consolidation of Law Department offices. The department’s offices currently are located on several floors. The consolidation will improve the Law Department’s internal operation. Efficiency feasibility studies and schematic planning of this area will begin this summer.
A feasibility study has been completed for the City Council offices on the 24th floor of City Hall. This study recommended a more efficient space layout for offices, meeting space and improved traffic circulation.

    
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