Archive for Wednesday, December 18, 2002

County considering closing satellite treasurer’s office

December 18, 2002

The Douglas County Treasurer's satellite office in Baldwin is a convenience for area residents who need to get motor vehicle tags or pay property and real estate taxes.

But the convenience could be cut along with the $1.8 million county-wide budget cuts this year.

Pat Wells, Douglas County Treasurer, said in an effort to save money, it is possible the lease for the satellite office would not be renewed.

"That is a possibility because of the budget cuts. We have to cut $1.8 million county wide," she said. "We're looking at all departments."

While it is an option, Wells said nothing has been finalized and it is too early to say whether the county commissioners will decide to let the lease lapse in an attempt to cut the budget.

Nancy Barnes, the motor vehicle/tax clerk at the satellite office, said it would be disappointing if the county was forced to close the office.

"We would hate to lose it," Barnes said. "Most people like it for the convenience."

Not only do Baldwin residents use the office, but she said she also gets a portion of Overbrook, Wellsville, Edgerton and Eudora area residents.

She said the satellite office is also an asset to the area's elderly population who don't want to drive to Lawrence.

Barnes said county budget cuts will be inevitable this year.

"We just hate to see them cut customer service as a part of it," she said.

Wells said people with concerns can contact the county commissioners. She said she has already received a lot of e-mail from concerned county residents, which she has forwarded on to the county administrator and commissioners.

"If it was left up to me, I wouldn't want to close it," she said. "But the final say so is the commissioners."

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