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Kandu Center on the move, again

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By Katy Korkos

Los Alamos County’s information center has found a new, long-term temporary home in the Annex at 901 Trinity.After first being displaced from the kiosk in the Municipal Building when that building was vacated because of structural problems last year, KanDu moved to a portable building in the parking lot. Now the county’s information center has moved again, to the county annex, where they will share space and customer service duties with the Utilities Department.Residents who want to sell cars from the Lemon Lot, get a permit to advertise on the Diamond Drive overpasses or pay their property tax bills in person will find the KanDu center at the top of the stairs in the annex, alongside the customer service desks for the utilities department.Much of the work of the busy center is conducted over the phone, via e-mail and on the website, but the easiest way to pick up maps or brochures or to view conceptual drawings of the county’s building projects is by visiting the office in person.The three customer service representatives in KanDu now join forces with three utilities customer service representatives, and each will cross-train on the other’s jobs, so that all will be available to answer 311 calls, process utility payments and respond to e-mail queries.“The move to unify customer service functions is part of council’s long-term vision,” said County Public Information Officer Julie Habiger in a press release Thursday. “When KanDu was created by council action in 2003, the unification with Utilities customer service had been envisioned for 2008.”The customer service center will combine its information and cashiering functions with the utilities department, Habinger said, “as part of the county’s long-term plan to make residents interface with the county as simple as possible.”The incentive to move KanDu now, rather than wait for a new Municipal Building in order to combine the two operations, was due to the council’s longer-term goal of making it possible for county residents to go to one location for most of their county business.With the Community Development Department located just down the hall for building permits and business licenses, nearly every customer service the county offers is in one place.The KanDu center maintains a telephone directory for county-run programs and offices, including everything from affordable housing to the White Rock Senior Center.In addition, the customer service center has set up an online database with answers to more than 300 frequently asked questions. The subjects in the database range from how to get woodcutting permits to how to dispose of old mattresses, and KanDu has also posted contact information for nearby pueblos and towns.