The city halls in Auburn and Russellville are undergoing face lifts as part of an updating and reorganizing of space.
When you walk into either the Auburn or Russellville city hall now, you may hear the familiar sounds of sawing, hammering and moving things around. Don’t fear, however, these are changes for the better and are a progressive and proactive avenue to making the center of the cities’ governments more welcoming and efficient.
For Auburn these changes have come about just recently with newly elected may0r Mike Hughes, who has seen an opportunity to shake things up a bit and become more organized.
“I have seen a lot of space that isn’t being used and I want to change that. I also would like to see a more welcoming area when people come into the city to conduct business,” said Hughes, mentioning lowering the front counter to allow for better communication.
Other changes the Auburn city hall is seeing includes putting up walls to allow for additional office space, moving the mayor’s office up to the front of city hall to be more assessable to the public, putting a few coats of paint on the walls and working on the floors.
All the work is being done by city employees and inmate labor, said Auburn Clerk Becka Lagrone, adding Auburn’s city hall has not received many changes in 12 years.
The City of Russellville began a renovation last year when moving the mayor’s office into the old fire department offices. This also made the mayor more accessible to the public instead of being in the back of city hall. Currently, the work is being done on building offices, which mayor Stratton feels will help productivity, as well as first impressions.
“We are just trying to update city hall a little bit, but are trying to keep the old look along with the updates. This just takes us another step towards professionalism. When people come into the city, we want that first impression to be a big impression,” said mayor Stratton.
Privacy is also something Stratton feels is very important to the employees of the city. The renovation will make that happen and allow for more privacy for office areas.
“When employees talk to people, they need to have some privacy. This will also allow people to concentrate without movement in and out,” said Stratton, adding, “The changes will also brighten it up a little bit. This was something I thought about doing last year. We are working on it little by little.”
The City of Russellville is also using its workforce to help with the renovations.