COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The long trek to the tag office at the Government Center in Columbus will be shortened by fewer steps now that the East Wing entrance has re-opened.
The double-doors closed in July as a cost-saving measure due to budget constraints, according to Sheriff John Darr. But, complaints from the elderly and handicap prompted the change. "In my opinion, whenever you're talking about that sector of the community, you've got to be worried and concerned about them. That's the overriding factor for me," added Darr.
Just by shutting down the East Wing entrance, the city saves approximately $150,000 per year, said Darr.
The move caused a big inconvenience for many.
"Praise the Lord! I can't understand a city this big and people have to go through the garage to get to an office to do their business," explained Ann Lisenby. Her husband, Wayne Lisenby, stated, "I'm happy to see it happen finally."
Even though the entrance has been closed for months, as of Friday, some residents weren't aware they could not enter the tag office from the East Wing. But, they were elated to learn of the change."That's great--save me from walking. When you get old, you don't like to walk too much," said Roy Vickery.
Security and safety will not be compromised as the entrance reopens. Everyone will walk through a metal detector at the security checkpoint before entering the tag office.
A new, enhanced metal detector will be placed at the East Wing. The cost is just under $4000.
The East Wing entrance will remain open until the tag office relocates to the Citizens Service Center on Macon Road. Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.