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Cotaco service center opens for county business

By Michael Wetzel

For the Enquirer

COTACO — A new Morgan County Service Center East, available to all Morgan residents and with business hours beginning at 6 a.m., opened Nov. 7 and customer Joyce Marsh of Hulaco said it’s a significant improvement over the cramped center that was housed in the District 4 shop.

“I love the convenience and there is more parking here,” Marsh said after being one of the first residents to utilize the full-time service center. “The parking is easier to access because it’s not coming off a main road.

The new 2,000-square-foot service center at 62 Guyer Cove Road in Cotaco cost $600,000 and is about 200 yards south of the District 4 shop on Union Hill Road where residents previously purchased tags and conducted other county business.

“I expect more (people to come) as customers see the nice facility and the seating available for them, also the efficient service,” said Amanda Scott, revenue commissioner.

Scott said her staff at the service center will see about 50 to 60 customers a day this time of the year, with many people visiting to pay property taxes and file for homestead exemptions. She said during the summer that number might be 30 to 40 customers daily.

“We’re hopeful we’ll see more foot traffic,” said License Commissioner Kate Terry. “January to October are our busy months for car tags. We believe more people will be apt to use this service center once they know we’re open.”

Terry said last fiscal year, her office brought in $20.7 million with $1.7 million coming from transactions in the former District 4 shop service center site.

“Now with our new service center east, we are hopeful that the people we serve will go from 8% to about 10% to 15%,” Terry said. “This building is open in this community, but not limited to this community.”

Scott and Terry said the center is open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. “Our hours are great for working people. That is convenient. They can stop by early in the morning on their way to work,” Scott said.

The new center will have four county workers: Kim Hubbard, lead assessment clerk, and Teresa Satterfield, assessment clerk, in the licenses commission office and Melanie Schraff, business personal property appraiser 2, and Kristen Sanders, senior assessment clerk. Scott said she will have a county mapper at the location a few days each week.

“We didn’t have to add staff here, but we now have the capability to if needed,” Scott said. “We have space for three (more) employees plus now we’re not getting in District 4 shop workers’ way.

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