All (4) of our county wide service lobbies will begin to resume their normal hours of operation county wide on Monday the 18th with all current social distancing and (COVID-19) mitigation efforts in place. All of our office lobbies and service areas have been evaluated as to the level of customer density that they can safely accommodate. We chose to wait until the 18th to open as it coincides more along the lines of Governor Abbott’s Phase II of openings across the state.
We look forward to opening our annex lobby and we are certainly happy to re-open our (3) field office lobbies in Burkburnett, Iowa Park and Electra. Our Field Office Lobbies will open at 8 am. on their designated days of operation and they will close at 4:30 pm. to service those citizens who are in-line at (that time) in our lobbies.
Downtown Annex Office Lobby:
We have opted to have our entire staff both in our MVD and Property Tax Collections stay on task from 11:00 -1:00 pm. every day at the annex and to handle the heightened transitional volume that we have always had during lunch. And certainly how those numbers can go nowhere but up under the current circumstances. Maximizing the greatest number of staff during peak transactional periods should be very helpful to the public who have made the trip to the annex during their lunch. In the final analysis, we feel as though this is the best way to service the greater amount of public with the greatest amount of staff that we have available during those very peak transactional times. And those who should happen to visit the annex between 1:30-2:30 pm. are certainly welcome to use our convenient drop that is just inside our main Scott Street Entrance. This concept of having a drop box located just a few feet inside our main entrance has been a bonanza with customer convenience and we are emptying it no less than (3-4) times a day!! It is going to become part of our service model on a permanent basis. And again, it is a convenience for those who may not have the time to conduct a lobby transaction.
At 1:00 pm. we will cease staging any customers. We will service our customers that are at our windows and those who we have staged both inside our lobby and those who have been staged along the corridor that is just outside our main entrance that runs back towards annex security…
This will allow us to clear our lobbies and service those who have been waiting in-line and to allow us time to disinfect our lobby and high contact counter service areas. We have approximately 130 linear ft. of service counter area on both sides of our operations and other high contact areas throughout our 1500 sq. foot lobby that will be disinfected at least twice daily and more depending on volume.
Our staff will have lunch from 1:30-2:30 pm. and return for yet another peak period of afternoon transactional volume. We will repeat the aforementioned closure plan at 4:30 pm. in an effort to clear our lobbies and wait on those who have been waiting and reconcile our office’s funds for the day. And this will allow us time at the end of the day to disinfect our lobby once again and be prepared for the opening of business at 8:00 am. the following morning.
Our service areas on both sides of our operations have been segregated in such a fashion to insure compliance with social distancing with our customers. This will allow us to keep customer density at a level that will help substantially with the ingress and egress of those into our lobby. And this will insure that we are within our customer density standard of no more than (20) in our lobby at any one time.
We have done our best to have an operational model that best serves the needs of the public and has protected them as well as our staff. And that is a win-win no matter how other elected officials in county government may wish to critique what our office has done in this set of circumstances.
Tommy R. Smyth,TAC,MPA,CTOP
Wichita County Motor Vehicle Registration & Titling Services and Property Tax Division