Grass Valley City Hall now open 4 days a week | TheUnion.com
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Grass Valley City Hall now open 4 days a week

Grass Valley transits to four days

Grass Valley City Hall is open for business, four days a week.

The change to four days is a temporary trial, and runs through the end of the year, when it will be reevaluated. It’s been in effect since Monday.

“We’ll do this as a test until the end of December and see how the public views this,” Mayor Ben Aguilar said.



City Hall operations now run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and will be closed to the public on Fridays.

“We reached out through the city’s website and included a message on our phone system,” said City Manager Tim Kizer.




The council voted unanimously for the change at its May 11 meeting. Kizer explained the new schedule provides more flexibility for staff and could help to recruit new employees as well.

But one primary concern will be the effect on building contractors who need inspections of work in progress at building sites on Fridays.

“City Hall itself will be closed to the public on Fridays, but inspections can be booked the day before and implemented Fridays,” said Kizer. “With COVID we changed over to a lot more electronic format, and now residents can pay utility and other bills online.”

Inspection fees are variable and can range from a simple electrical outlet review to inspecting an entire house or commercial structure. And for some projects, inspection fees are factored in with the building permit costs.

Paying delinquent water bills is another concern. Currently, water customers are billed every two months. But if they cannot pay owing to impact of COVID-19, the bill will be waived at least until the reopening of the economy.

However, if there is another reason for not paying the water bill, the amount owed must be settled eventually, Kizer said. Previously, those who failed to pay had their service halted. But now, past due water accounts will be added to an individual’s tax obligation.

“But we will give residents multiple opportunities to pay before charging their tax bill,” said Kizer. “A first notice will be sent that they have not paid. Then another will inform the amount will go on their tax bill. And if the bill remains unpaid, a notice for a hearing will be issued.”

The number of unpaid bills is typically small, around 20 or 30 out of 4,000, Kizer said.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com

 


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