All county buildings, including Lanett annex, moving to central time

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

On Monday night, Chambers County Commissioners voted to move all county buildings, including the Lanett annex, to central time starting on March 6. At that point, the building will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. eastern time.

“It’s going to be a shock to folks who worked and lived on eastern time zone since back when Pepperell was here and all that, but this is progress in my opinion,” said Commissioner James Williams. 

Chambers County Probate Judge Paul Story said that the change will help unify the business hours of the local county offices with the state level. As it stands now, if the state computer system has any issues, it cannot be addressed for the first hour of the day until 9 a.m. eastern time.

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“With us opening at 8 a.m. eastern time instead of 8 central, the state office for our tag sales and drivers license does not open until 8 central. So if there are any issues with the systems — which there has been before — on the state side, nobody can address them until they open at 8 o’clock central or 9 eastern,” Story said.

Williams also said the change will help smooth the transition toward central time that other entities in the county may be heading toward, such as the county board of education.

“There’s going to be a move here in the near future for us to go to central standard time in that area, especially with the schools and all, so why not go ahead and start the ball rolling?” Williams said.

Though he knows it will be an adjustment for those in the county who have lived on eastern time for years, Williams said he believes the transition to central time will have a positive impact.

“I don’t see where it will make a big change in the community,” Williams said. 

Although it may be different for other offices in the building, Story said that the probate office in the annex will not close for lunch. To accommodate for citizens that run on eastern time, the probate office will remain open an extra hour. 

“Actually it will be better because of the fact that we’ve always closed at lunch from 12:30 to 1:30. Now, we’ll be open the whole time,” Story said.

According to Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard, the city will be sending out a survey to its citizens to get their feedback on how they feel about changing to central time for Lanett.