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Island County to open offices for Friday service in mid-June

County offices will be open to the public on Fridays starting the third week of June.

Commissioners approved an ordinance at their May 12 regular meeting that rolled back staffing and office hours cutbacks dating back to 2009.

“I’m grateful that our economy has come back that we are able to sustain this,” said Commissioner Helen Price Johnson. “I hope it’s helpful to folks. Having access to county services is an important part of renewal and development.”

Last year’s budget revealed that the county had started to recover from the recession, and commissioners have been slowly reviving programs and services that were cut for several years.

The closure of departments like planning, public health, the auditor and others has been troublesome to real estate brokers and builders who have complained about delays due to lack of access and delayed permitting.

“I agree that this is a good moment for Island County,” Commissioner Jill Johnson said. “It is important for our community to do transactional business five days a week. This allows that.”

The new hours for county administrative services will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, including offices for the Treasurer, Auditor, Assessor and the Commissioners Office.

The public counters for Public Works, Planning and Public Health will reopen on Fridays, but the Monday-Friday public schedule will be shortened slightly to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from the current 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. schedule.

Department heads have argued that Fridays have provided staff much needed quiet time to complete tasks without public interruption, and the closure during the 3-4:30 p.m. time period each day is intended to allow for that.

Camano Annex hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

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