In the interest of efficiency and with the ability to do some cross-training, the Escalon Recreation Department has moved from its former location within the police department facility at 2040 McHenry to Escalon City Hall at 2060 McHenry.
Even though the move is just next door, the change means the doors are locked at the police department facility, with no lobby access. City residents needing to make contact with the police should check in at City Hall first, then will be directed to the proper person next door at the police station.
“We’re trying to find where we have any available capacity in the staff,” said City Manager John Abrew. “By bringing staff over here and centralizing, it gives us opportunity for cross training and gives us more ambidextrous employees.”
Abrew said having all the city staff – except for police and public works – under one roof, should make it easier for residents to have questions answered and take care of business.
“Backfilling is a lot easier,” Abrew added of having staff there to pick up the slack when someone is out on vacation, ill or on leave. “We’re looking for reduced interruption in customer service.”
Abrew said the police department “will always be available” to residents, just not by walking in to the lobby as before. Now, they will go to City Hall and ask for assistance in gaining access to the police station. A phone outside the police department building, however, is not intended to call for an officer. That is a dedicated emergency line and is hooked directly into the 911 emergency call system.
The recreation department relocation to City Hall occurred on Wednesday, May 1.
“We had been talking about it for a few months, we feel it will make us more efficient,” Abrew explained. “The business of the city is still moving forward and we have been very busy. There has been a huge pick up in development, both commercial and residential.”
Abrew pointed to the approval of a Dollar General store by the Planning Commission as one recent development, along with the approval of a renovation and addition to the NAPA store, with a convenience store and service station planned on that site as well.
“We have had five permits pulled and construction under way (on new homes) and we expect three more in the next week,” Abrew added. “We haven’t seen a new home permit in five years.”
Abrew said while he continues to serve under multiple hats – City Manager, City Engineer and Public Works Director – he also has supervisors within public works that help shoulder the load.
“They are doing a really good job,” he said.
Supervisors are Juston Collins for parks/collection/streets; Matt Morgan for the water system; and John Welch at the wastewater treatment plant.