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One-stop shop for city services

Andrew Livingstone
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 21, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - City hall is taking steps toward a one-stop shop for residents to handle all their city needs.

Two newly installed computers in the main reception area of city hall will allow Yellowknifers to access city services, pay bills and register for programs, making it more efficient for residents to access their city accounts said Carl Bird, director of corporate services.

"We decided a couple months ago and just had to get the right technology and had to make sure we gave access to the right types of things people want to do when they come to city hall," Bird said. "We're working on a one-stop shopping set-up so this is the first step. It's an easy one."

Yellowknifers will be able to access their city accounts, make any necessary payments and print off receipts and application forms for a variety of city-run and sponsored programs.

"They can make sure they are on the electoral list by going on and registering," Bird said of one of the many options available. "It's what they can do at home, it's just we're making it available for people (who come into) city hall so that if they come in and there is a bit of a line-up at the reception they can go to the kiosks and take care of anything they would have done at the reception."

Covered under the cost of an already budgeted renovation and through the city's surplus computers, the new system came at little to no extra cost to the city, Bird said.

"It was very minimal," he said. "We just ran the wires as part of that renovation that was already budgeted."

Bird said this is the first step in city hall's efforts to enhance residents' access to the numerous city services, adding they plan to form a committee to look at how to create better efficiency between city hall and residents.

City staff will be available to help anyone who might feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable with using the computers.

"If people want to try it and they aren't that familiar with it we have staff on site to help walk them through it," he said. "It's very easy to get on. (You) click on a button and it opens to a page where there is a list of things that residents might need to do. It's very much like the web page."