News : DNR Expands Service Center Hours
Wausau, WI, Nov 16, 2014 -- Department of Natural Resources service centers are open longer now, thanks to a combination of technology and better efficiency. That’s according to the DNR’s Diane Brookbank. She says a new call routing system and better scheduling allowed them to expand service hours without any new revenue. "We made some internal adjustments over the past several months in positions, and we have been able to open up six locations across the state. One of those is the Wausau service center. For the last year, year and a half, that location has been opened three hours a day, five days a week. We will be opening that location to full days."
The changes took effect last week. Brookbank says the timing of the expanded hours is good, because many of the local service centers sell 50% of their licenses during the week before the season openers. "When they call the call center, actually, by looking at people’s phone numbers, we’re able to direct calls to the local area if there are representatives available, and in the event that someone might be busy in that area, then it will go into an overflow where it will go statewide."
Brookbank says the DNR service centers get about 400,000 calls every year, and there will be a lot of calls this week, since it’s the week before the gun deer season. "The week before deer season is crazy. I think last year, we took just short of 4,000 calls in the call center the day before the deer season opener."
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The good news for taxpayers is the changes have allowed increased service center hours without adding to the budget. "We added no new resources for this, and we had to pick which locations we could do it. We couldn’t do it to all of them. We took some pretty significant cuts several years ago, and this is the first opportunity we had to be able to come back from that and start to serve those communities where we had our greatest needs."
The Wausau center will now offer counter service from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days per week.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is an agency of the state of Wisconsin. Its purpose is to preserve, protect, manage and maintain the natural resources of the state.
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
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