Civic

COVID Blamed for Customers’ Contact Problems

Some customers have complained of trouble getting in touch with the Woodfin Water Offices.

Woodfin – After receiving inquiries about customers having trouble getting in touch with the Sanitary Water & Sewer District Offices, the Tribune looked into the matter. According to Dr. Joseph Martin, Director of the Woodfin Sanitary Water & Sewer District, “COVID has been a challenge. So far, we haven’t had any confirmed employee cases but have had a couple of employees that were exposed and had to quarantine.”

Asked what the current hours of operations were for the office, Martin said, “Current hours: Telephone 9 am – 4 pm Mon-Thur, closed 12-1 during lunch [there is an] emergency service answers, Friday 9 am – 1 pm.” He went on to say, “Lobby: Mon-Thur 9 am-4 pm, closed 12-1 during lunch.”

When asked if the office employees were only working about 30 or so hours as indicated by telephone and lobby times, Martin told the Tribune, “Employees are still working 40 hours. They work 8 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday. Lobby hours don’t equal working hours.”

Some of the trouble getting in touch with the water offices came around the holidays. Martin said holiday hours were the same except closed December 24/25/28 along with Jan 1 for holidays. He added, “The lobby had to close unexpectedly [Dec] 29/30/31 due to Covid exposure, [with] phones still open. All hours and info was [sic] posted on the District’s website.” 

The Tribune also learned that callers to the water district phone system were being diverted to the Woodfin Town Hall. As many readers know, there is no connection between Woodfin Water and the Town of Woodfin. The two are were created decades apart. Asked about why that feature had been set up on the phone system, Martin said, “The phone system did not direct anyone to contact the town in case of emergency; we did have a prompt choice that would allow callers to redirect to the town for police or trash issues rather than having to hang up and redial.” He added, “To avoid confusion, that prompt has been removed so callers now will only reach our office or our after-hours emergency service.”

Martin also said, “Current policy for office staff is limiting inside staff to no more than two people in the office at any one time and allowing remote access for those able to do so. Field personnel and those who work outside are unchanged.”