Maple Grove Makes Steps to Become Passport Acceptance Facility
Dec 12, 2017 08:58AM
● By Wendy Erlien
Maple Grove Government Center
Residents seeking to obtain a passport may soon have the option to do so at the Maple Grove Government Center.
At the Nov. 20 meeting, the Maple Grove City Council approved a request from city staff establish a designated Passport Acceptance Facility at the Government Center.
The steps followed initially being contacted by the U.S. Department of the State’s Minneapolis Passport Agency contacted the city to discuss “the prospect of the city becoming a passport acceptance facility,” according to a memo presented to the council at the Nov. 20 meeting.
“The outreach was prompted by the ongoing need for passport services in the northwest metro area since Hennepin County withdrew from offering passport services at its Maple Grove service center location in 2013,” according to the memo. “The city of Maple Grove is the only northwest metro location being considered by the Minneapolis Passport Agency, and passport representatives have already completed a site visit.”
The area targeted to setup passport services would be a “currently unused space” at the Government Center on the second floor.
“Not only would this provide a much needed service to our local residents, I’ve had this service in cities where I have previously served and it becomes a highly treasured and valued service that’s available at your government center,” Maple Grove City Administrator Heidi Nelson said.
After attending a seminar and studying impact, the city projected “the potential revenue stream would likely offset expenses incurred.”
The request to become a designated Passport Acceptance Facility was unanimously approved by the Maple Grove City Council at the Nov. 20 meeting. Following the approval, the city approved a request at the Dec. 4 meeting to recruit for a full-time Passport/Administrative Support Clerk the upcoming position.
“Staff anticipates the need for an additional .5 FTE staff to support passport services, however, this may be accomplished with retirements and restructuring of administrative positions and would be addressed at a later date,” according to the Nov. 20 memo.
“I think it’s a good service – and you don’t have to go the post office and wait in line,” Councilmember Phil Leith commented.
“I think it would be a great thing to have in our community – where we can take the pictures right there on site. It’s a good service for our residents,” Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson said.
The city anticipates starting up the service by the end of the first quarter or beginning of second quarter of 2018, according to Nelson.
Nov. 20 Maple Grove City Council Meeting