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Archive for Saturday, June 12, 1999

COSTS RISE

June 12, 1999

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A plan to open two satellite treasurer's offices may be going south -- and not to Baldwin.

After receiving unanimous support from the Douglas County Commission to spend up to $125,000 to open one office on South Iowa Street and another in Baldwin, Douglas County Treasurer Pat Wells has learned the cost would be closer to $200,000.

That means she isn't ordering the "Come In, We're Open" signs for the offices just yet.

Wells will present the bad news to commissioners during their meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse.

"We're going to have to think about that cost," said Dean Nieder, commission chairman. "That is a good deal more than I thought."

The extra expense is for computers and related equipment needed to allow the remote offices to offer all services that are provided at the courthouse. The estimate for that cost is about $75,000 per location, compared with about $26,000 for utilities and rent for a year.

To Wells, the expense would be worth it.

"I think that we need to provide the service to the citizens of Douglas County," she said.

There is a good precedent in the office opened in 1993 at Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth, which has shortened lines at the courthouse.

If they are allowed to open, the Baldwin and South Iowa sites could lead to more locations in the county, Wells said.

"I want to take one step at a time," she said.

-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is kblackwood@ljworld.com.

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