PORTSMOUTH - City Hall will continue to remain open until 6 p.m. one evening a week for the convenience of Portsmouth citizens at least through the end of the year, City Manager John Bohenko announced Monday.
A two-month pilot project with Monday evening hours was scheduled to end this week but the City Manager said the trial will be extended through the end of December to better evaluate its success. He said feedback from the public and City staff to City Hall has been positive overall, but summer was a difficult time to assess the program due to vacation schedules.
Regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will continue Tuesday through Thursday, and City Hall closes at 1 p.m. on Fridays. During weeks where a federal holiday is celebrated on a Monday, City Hall will remain open until 6 p.m. on Tuesday for that week only.
“We’ve been pleased with the response to this point and hope more residents will take advantage of the evening hours in the months to come,” Bohenko said. “Although the new hours apply to all City Hall offices, the majority of citizens taking advantage of them thus far have conducted business with the Tax Office. “
The City Manager noted that although the City offers some online services, there are still transactions that require residents to come to City Hall, including customers who have newly purchased a vehicle, new residents, those wishing to make a cash payment and those who prefer having a receipt handed to them.
“Prior to the new hours, the Tax Office received daily complaints about City Hall hours being inconvenient, but that is no longer happening,” he noted.
The original decision to alter the hours on a trial basis resulted from feedback from Portsmouth residents and City Council member that residents working outside the city had a difficult time getting to City Hall between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
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City Hall Hours Change Effective Monday June 25, 2012
PORTSMOUTH - City Hall will now be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Mondays for the convenience of Portsmouth citizens as part of a pilot project extending through the end of August.
Regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will continue Tuesday through Thursday, but City Hall will close at 1 p.m. on Fridays. These new hours will apply to all offices at City Hall, including the City Clerk and Tax offices, through Aug. 31.
City Manager John Bohenko said the decision to alter the hours on a trial basis resulted from feedback from Portsmouth residents and City Council members.
"We hope that City residents will find the later Monday hours helpful," the City Manager said. “It can be difficult for people who work outside Portsmouth to get to City Hall between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
"If there is a positive response to this initiative by the end of summer, we will reevaluate whether to continue the new schedule or adjust it," he said. “We’re very hopeful that our citizens will find these new hours more convenient."