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Relocation of city offices to wrap up by week’s end

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As of Friday, Greenwood’s city hall of about 30 years will be empty, and residents who want to talk to the mayor, pay their sewer bill or request a building permit will find the city offices at a new address.

Community development services, the legal department, finance office, human resources, code enforcement and the mayor’s office all should be working from the new city hall — the former Presnell building at Main Street and Madison Avenue — by the end of this week.

Greenwood opted to spend about $4.6 million to overhaul the 47,000-square-foot Presnell tower, which has enough office space for the employees who worked in the old city building and those in offices on Emerson Avenue. Bringing most of the city departments together in one building at 300 S. Madison Ave. would simplify working together, officials said.

The city chose to move its offices from 2 N. Madison Ave., the former Polk building, in part because of a $2.8 million estimate to renovate the 28,000-square-foot city building. The city chose instead to spend more money to get more space.

The city agreed at the end of 2012 to buy the tallest downtown building, which was in foreclosure, for $1.75 million. Greenwood has been working on extensive renovations since last summer, eventually gutting the building, removing old bank safes and replacing a tall glass exterior wall with energy-efficient glass.

Construction is mostly finished, with wiring for automatic doors still underway, signs being hung and some tile still on order for the lobby, deputy mayor Terry McLaughlin said.

Moving began last week when employees from the community development services department, which includes the planning, engineering and zoning offices, and the legal office hauled files, boxes of office supplies, racks of blueprints and filing cabinets over to the new city center building. Those departments moved first because the city’s lease on their building on Emerson Avenue had ended, McLaughlin said.

The finance department moved into new offices Monday, and the last department to leave the old city hall at 2 N. Madison Ave. will be the mayor’s office, which is scheduled to move today, McLaughlin said.

The clerk’s office is the only city office from 2 N. Madison Ave. that isn’t moving into the city center building, Clerk Jeannine Myers said. Myers and her assistant, Dustin Burton, moved into a newly renovated office in the police department building last week.

Originally, the city renovated an office in the new city center building for the clerk, but she got an email from the mayor early in March informing her she’d be moving to the police station instead.

The clerk would be assuming responsibility over some city court employees, so it made sense for her office to be near the court, Mayor Mark Myers said. Speaker of the House and municipal law attorney Brian Bosma is writing a job description for the clerk because her position changed from clerk-treasurer when Greenwood became a second-class city in 2012.

The court is located in the police station building on Surina Way, and the clerk’s office now shares a lobby and public restroom with the police department.

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