Drive thru window for clerk’s office tabled by Grainger Commissioners

Action on a drive-thru window to benefit the Grainger County Clerk and Trustee’s offices was tabled by the county commission Monday night, pending more study.

A committee was formed to review options for the drive-thru window area, which would be constructed at the Grainger County Courthouse.

County Mayor Mike Byrd reported that there had been no further bids received for the window other than the “rough estimate” of $216,000. The windows would be paid with COVID-19 money provided by the federal government.

“Mike, what I don’t understand is why it would cost $200,000 to put in two windows out there to drive up to anyway,” Commissioner Darrell Stratton said.

Byrd said that the Trustee’s office has to do an extension of the building to get it toward the sidewalk toward that office.

Speaking via phone, Commissioner Becky Johnson thought the drive-thru window was “a great idea.

“Out of 23,000 residents, how many people would actually be using this?” Commissioner James Acuff asked.

“I think I would have quite a few because of the limited amount of space in my office,” Trustee Rena Greer said. “Anybody with handicapped issues have a hard time getting around in my office.

There’s not a lot of space in my office for customers, especially handicapped. During tax season, when there are two to three people in there, they’re having to move around to get to the door. A lot of times mothers come in trying to handle car seats, kids and everything. Since the article came out in the newspaper, I’ve had many customers asking when we’re getting the window.”

Greer said that she didn’t ask for a window because she didn’t want to put the burden on the taxpayers.

“But if the money is here from state monies that’s not going to put the burden on taxpayers, I think that’s a service that would benefit the citizens of Grainger County for years to come,” she said.

Commissioner Wendy Noe suggested that the county invest in a window with tubes for deposits, similar to those in use at area banks and credit unions.

Becky Johnson suggested forming a committee to study this.

After the vote to table was passed, Becky Johnson, County Clerk Angie Lamb, Acuff, Scott Wynn, Luke Stratton and Greer were named to the committee.

The committee will report their findings to the commission next month.