Will two become one?

When Webster County residents visit the county treasurer’s office, they end up needing to go to two places.

Property taxes are paid in the office on the east side of the courthouse. Vehicle titles, license plates and renewal stickers can be obtained from the motor vehicle office on the east side.

There’s no reason to keep these two apart, according to Webster County Treasurer Jan Messerly.

The county has hired Allers Associates Architects to draw up a preliminary plan to see if it would be possible to combine the two into one, Messerly said.

“Because the treasurer’s office is just one office,” she said.

“We will be looking at reorganizing space to become more efficient,” said Terry Allers, president of Allers Architects. “It’s a space-planning thing. Not lots of tearing into walls or that kind of thing.”

This will involve rearranging the back room at the tax office to make more room for workstations. The current motor vehicle office would be used for storage.

The front desk may also be redesigned, with the addition of a wheelchair accessible counter, for example.

The two offices have been separate since a 1994 redesign when the treasurer’s department moved from the second floor to the first, Messerly said.

“It will be more efficient for customer service,” she said. “We get a lot of traffic. We’re usually their first stop when people come here.”

It will also be more efficient to have all the clerks in one place. There are currently five full-time staff in the motor vehicle office and three full-time, plus one part-time, in the tax office.

The tax office is bigger, but the vehicle office sees more traffic, Messerly said.

The proposal states that Allers Architects will draw up plans and review designs for an hourly fee not to exceed $800. Allers said the design work will be done this month. It’s too early to tell how long the rest of the work may take.