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Brandon

Tax Collector's office opening on Falkenburg

New location has twice as much space and better technology. It joins the growing governmental hub in Brandon.

By JAY CRIDLIN
Published April 4, 2003

BRANDON - Falkenburg Road is fast becoming hot property for the Hillsborough County government.

The Tax Collector's office is the latest government agency to open an office on Falkenburg, with its Brandon branch moving to a larger, more high-tech facility there Monday.

The new office, at 2211 N Falkenburg Road, will give employees and customers nearly 200 parking spaces and 6,000 more square feet of space.

"It's customer-friendly, easy to get in and out of, and people can sit down," said Tax Collector Doug Belden. "It's a design that works for the customer and for the employees. It's win-win."

The new office will further centralize Hillsborough County government offices in Brandon. Already, an election and voting center, the county animal shelter and jail occupy space on Falkenburg Road.

"We're right across from a lot of the other county offices," said Preston Trigg, a spokesman for the tax collector. "No matter where you are, you can always get on Bloomingdale or Lumsden or 60 and head west to Falkenburg."

It will be the second tax collector's office on Falkenburg. Another building on the road houses the agency's computer system. With that facility so close by, Belden said the tax collector's office expects to save more than $500,000 in telecommunications costs through 2005.

Trigg says that with 12,370 square feet of space - the old office had about 6,000 square feet - employees and customers at the tax collector's office will finally have room to stretch.

"We really think that we've taken care of some of the growth needs in serving Brandon and east Hillsborough County with this office," Trigg said. "It's such a rapidly growing area, but we feel like we can accommodate that growth now."

There will be 150 parking spaces reserved for customers at the new facility, and another 45 spots reserved for employees. It's nearly double the parking at the old office, where, Trigg said, "people were parking on the side of the road."

Additional improvements include six more teller stations and a streamlined computer system.

A new underground fiber optic cable will connect the computer system in the old Falkenburg office with the new one.

In fact, the new office was previously leased by a sales company with a high-tech computer setup that the county will now be able to use free of charge.

"It's going to enable us to move a lot of information services out of Falkenburg into that branch," Belden said.

The office, originally slated to open in May, will be open for business on Monday in the Pinebrooke Commerce Center.

- Jay Cridin can be reached at 661-2442 or cridlin@sptimes.com

[Last modified April 3, 2003, 17:30:40]

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