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Customer Service and Billing Office is Moving
At one time or another, every Benton Utility customer has come to the Benton Municipal Complex (also known as City Hall), to conduct business concerning their utility services with Benton Utilities. As our city and customer base grows, so does our need for space to handle the customer service and billing offices. We have enjoyed being in our current location these last almost 17 years but we simply need more space to conduct business. Our current drive-through window access has insufficient room to accommodate more than 3 cars. There are often traffic jams on East Street due to the stacking of vehicles wanting to go through the drive-through to drop off payments. This also prohibits customers and employees from getting in the parking lot to park.
Countless hours were spent searching for a convenient location for the new building. Because we felt staying in the downtown area would be most convenient for our customers, we initially concentrated our search in the downtown area. We looked at former bank buildings, other empty spaces as well as vacant lots. It soon become evident that we would not be able to justify the cost of any downtown properties. The only logical location had to be on property already owned by Benton Utilities. Out of all the properties owned by Benton Utilities, the location at Dale Ave. and Citizen’s Way was the most economical and convenient for customers.
Several years ago, we purchased equipment to be able to print and mail our bills in-house rather than out-source the processes. This allows us to spend a little less and keep the money spent for printing and mailing in our local economy. Unfortunately, the equipment is large and loud and had to be placed in a hallway to accommodate it. Although we have been able to make this work, it is less than ideal and not as secure as it should be.
Our goal is to have a new building constructed by the end of this year. We will be building at the corner of Citizens Way and Dale Avenue. The new building is located near the Electric Distribution Center. This building will be a complement to the new Riverside Park Complex which will include the Sr. Adult Center and Boy’s and Girl’s Club. The close proximity to these facilities will bring added convenience to our utility customers.
We will be sharing more information with our customers as the months go by and we near completion. Keep watching the newsletter for more information.