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Ravalli Co. treasurer's office to be remodeled

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HAMILTON, Mont. - Some time in May Bitterroot residents will see the Ravalli County treasurer's office remodeled.

Ravalli County commissioners approved bids to remodel the office. The cost is about $63,000.

It's not unusual to see a long line of people waiting to renew their car licenses or to pay their property taxes.

Currently if you're paying taxes you go to a property tax window. If you need motor vehicle registration service you stand in a motor vehicle window.

After the remodel people will be able to go to any window for either service.

Ravalli County Treasurer Dan Whitesitt said the office is also expanding for future growth.

"Currently we have the ability to help six people at a time," he said. "Once the remodel is done we will have the ability to help up to nine people at a time."

Whitesitt said the corridor where people wait will be opened up. The east side wall will come down.

"We will have a reception desk for people coming in," he said. "It will become a lot more efficient and will improve customer service."

He thinks lines will be reduced because people who just have questions won't have to wait in line.

We met Mary Allred as she waited in line Monday morning. She thinks the remodel will be a time saver for people.

"It would be nice to have a receptionist to help you with little details," she said, "without having to wait in line for up to an hour or longer."

Right now the office has just one window for handicapped people. The remodel will provide three specially constructed handicapped windows.

The current motor vehicle area will be remodeled.

Whitesitt's office on the south side of the department will have a window.

Some said they like the idea. Others, like Margi Leininger, who was waiting in line said she is concerned about the cost.

"It's been this way for a long time," she said. "Yes, it could be improved but is it really necessary?"

Work on the treasurer's office will begin as soon as possible. The remodel is expected to take eight weeks.

The bid to do the work was awarded to Sirius Construction of Missoula.

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