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Civic Shutdown: Alamo Heights Closes For A Week

Ryan Loyd
TPR News

It's not often that a city shuts its doors for a week.

But city leaders in Alamo Heights decided the measure was necessary, because of the sheer logistical minutiae involved in moving the city administration from Austin Highway, a temporary location, back to their original digs at 6116 Broadway. The Broadway location underwent a total, and very expensive, overhaul over the last year-and-a-half.

The administration being closed for business, though, caught many people off guard. Aline Yoldi figured she'd just drive over to City Hall Wednesday morning after she couldn't get anyone to pick up the phone.

"I left work to come here, to set up a meeting because I couldn't set it up over the phone or email, and try to see if I can talk with them directly," she said outside of the Austin Highway offices. "So now I see why they were not answering. I guess it is frustrating.”

The phones were either busy, or kept ringing nonstop. The City's website was also down Wednesday morning. It left people wondering what they would do if they needed to contact the City for a service, or pay a fine.

Contractor Jim Wanamaker also showed up to the old City Hall Wednesday. “I was here to see if an inspection passed,” he said. “It's going to keep me from being able to continue work,” he said after learning the offices would not reopen until the end of the week. That, in all probability, could be an expensive delay.

Resident Larry Balser said it was uncharacteristic of Alamo Heights. “I think that sounds pretty crazy,” he said. "It sounds pretty ridiculous. I mean, don't you think that the City ought to be open for business?”

According to City Manager Mark Browne, the project was planned and plenty of messages went out by email, in newsletters, through social media, and the City's website. Not everyone got the memo, though. Still, Browne said there hadn't been that much disruption.

All but public safety and public works will remain closed until Friday.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.