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One-stop remodeling has other benefits

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One-stop remodeling has other benefits

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin Manteca Public Works building maintenance divisions workers Jon Lucas, left, and Gerald Burguillos work on opposite sides of the wall while spreading sheetrock mud as the c...

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POSTED May 5, 2009 1:30 a.m.

The creation of a one-stop permit center at the Manteca Civic Center is also setting in motion improved efficiencies for other municipal departments as well as improving public access.
The $430,000 project – less than a third of the cost that was originally envisioned – requires shifting personnel around and remodeling other offices.
As a result when work being handled by city employees is completed there will be:
•American Disabilities Act access for the handicapped for the first-time for the public at the City Clerk’s office.
•Putting the entire city clerk staff in one location along with the records they access. Currently they need to get up and walk down a hallway to access records, files and the copying machine while leaving the lobby unmanned.
•Handicapped access for the personnel services division plus a computer kiosk where job seekers can apply on line.
•Adding conference rooms that did not exist previously. One of the most critical problems identified by an internal survey was the lack of adequate meeting space for staff whether it was one-on-one or in small groups.
•Freeing up space for additional staff when it is needed.
At the same time the remodeling is going forward, staff is proposing switching its existing California Codes to CD-Roms at a cost of just under $6,300 over three years. The codes, which are accessed by staff members of various departments to make sure the city follows state law on a wide variety of subjects, currently are in book form and take up an extensive amount of space. Updates to the codes have been coming in recent years on a CD.
The move not only will eliminate the large library space needed but will make it easier to access them.
“Unless you know where to find exactly what you are looking for it can take a long time to find information now,” City Clerk Joann Tilton said. “The CDs are much easier to access.”
The one-stop permit center is designed to mirror similar operations in Roseville, Sacramento and West Sacramento that have significantly reduced citizen frustration and substantially reduced processing time for projects ranging from home improvements to new retail centers.
The remodel will put police, fire and public works personnel in the one-stop permit center to allow the analyzing of plans and specifications quickly. Currently, plans are ferried from one department to another. It adds substantial time and creates potential problems. For example, if the fire marshal sees a design problem that creates a problem for fire safety, public works and other department personnel can be brought into the loop immediately. Now, the plans have to be re-circulated from department to department.
In most permits residents would get, all of the work needed to be done can be accomplished while they’re sitting at work stations with trained city personnel as well as the paying of necessary fees.

One-stop permit center
could be ready by July 1
The administrative services has moved off site into leased space at 302 Cherry Lane. It is where the information technology division has been located in 2,500 square feet in October 2007. It is in easy walking distance and is kitty corner across the street from the Manteca Senior Center.
The city is leasing 1,800 additional square feet in the building for administrative services on a five year lease costing $117,000.
The information technology space is being leased for $1.50 per square foot. The city was able to renegotiate that lease downward to match the $1.30 rate the city secured for the additional square footage. Westside Office Partners made the adjustment in recognition of the current depressed office rental market. There is a 3 percent annual escalation in the contract.
The remodeling for the one-stop center is targeted for completion by June 15 allowing operations to start July 1.
The city is using bonus bucks – discretionary funds paid by developers per home to secure residential sewer allocation certainty – to pay for the project. No general fund money is being touched. The general fund – which runs day-to-day government operations such as police, fire, streets, and parks – is expected to end the fiscal year that starts July 1 with an $11.3 million deficit based on spending and revenue trends examined in December. The City Council has already taken steps that will cut that projected deficit down to under $4 million. More cuts will be put in place later this month after updated revenue projections are received.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin








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