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MailTribune.com
  • City Hall remodel to focus on safety measures

  • Bullet-resistant glass will fortify the city manager's office as part of a $15,000 remodel of the third floor of City Hall this summer.
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  • Bullet-resistant glass will fortify the city manager's office as part of a $15,000 remodel of the third floor of City Hall this summer.
    "We have all sorts of foot traffic at City Hall," said City Manager Eric Swanson. "We wanted some additional security, as well as some improved customer service."
    Swanson said no particular incident prompted the idea of installing bullet-resistant glass.
    However, he said it's more common to have greater levels of security for government offices.
    For instance, he said the offices for Jackson County commissioners and the county administrator have a secure reception area.
    Swanson said his office is relatively open to the public currently.
    "This will provide a little additional accounting of who goes in and out of the office," he said.
    The city manager's area is made up of a number of offices and cubicles for support staff on the west side of City Hall.
    Work, which will begin in August, will include construction of a counter that includes so-called ballistic glass. The special glass will not be installed for exterior windows.
    Swanson said many of the public's questions can be fielded directly at the new counter area. If the question requires additional information, the public can be directed to a meeting room or office.
    In the future, City Hall will have additional security features, including key-card access throughout the building.
    The City Council has approved a $446,000 upgrade to its card lock system for administrative offices that will be linked to computers. Work on the upgrade will begin in July.
    A more centralized information desk eventually will be available on the first floor of City Hall as well.
    The city is in the process of building a new police station across the street. Once the police move out of the first floor of City Hall, the space will be renovated and a central information desk will be installed.
    Councilor Daniel Bunn said the city manager's office receives a lot of visitors, and other municipalities and business have installed more secure front counter areas.
    "That's the industry standard right now," he said. "It's a sign of the times, I guess. I wish we didn't have to do that."
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/reporterdm.
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