Hamilton spends $3M to improve how it answers the phones
Council will deal with several issues at Wednesday's meeting, which CBC Hamilton will tweet live
City hall is spending nearly $3 million to make the experience of calling it less frustrating.
Pending council approval Wednesday, the city will spend $2.9 million to consolidate its call centres.
For residents, that means the chances are better that the first person who answers the phone will be able to answer your question, Coun. Russ Powers said.
Currently, the main switchboard can answer about 60 per cent of the calls. The rest are sent to individuals or 11 centres around the city, said the Dundas councillor, who is part of the committee dealing with the change.
Under the new system, operators will be able to answer more than 85 per cent of the questions posed by callers.
“We’re talking about consolidating that knowledge, that information, in a centralized area,” he said.
The call centre issue is left over from amalgamation. When the former municipalities joined together, they came with a mish-mash of call centres, Powers said.
The new call system means hiring 20 new employees and will save the city about $1 million per year. It will be fully implemented by 2019.
The city is also working on a new website, which should be ready in two years, he said.
Here’s what else council will vote on Wednesday:
- Renaming Copps Coliseum to FirstOntario Centre. It involves a deal between Global Spectrum, which manages Copps Coliseum, and FirstOntario Credit Union.
- Developing a real estate strategy for the waterfront. Councillors heard this month that it will cost $39.17 million to ready the west harbour for development. The city expects developers to build 1,600 residential units and 13,000 square metres of commercial and institutional space along Hamilton’s waterfront.
- A plan to change how it runs the Hamilton Farmers Market. That means a board that includes councillors, vendors and the public. It will also approve a validated parking plan from February to June that will see market shoppers park for free.
- Spending $50,000 to establish a Hamilton music office, which will promote Steeltown music, encourage new music business and promote existing musicians and businesses.
- Spending $27 million to relocate its Provincial Offences Act courtrooms in the old courthouse. The city was originally going to sell the building. McMaster University houses several offices there and will have to look for new space downtown.
Reporter Samantha Craggs will tweet live from the meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. Follow her at @SamCraggsCBC or in the box below.