When I took office as Pottawattamie County Recorder, I established two goals: to increase services to the residents of the county and to increase revenues. One of the new services I wanted to start in Pottawattamie County was to become a Passport Acceptance Facility.
This additional service would create a one-stop shop, since you need a certified birth certificate to get your passport and the recorder’s office issues birth certificates, this would be a one stop shop.
Plus, this new service increases revenue, as the $25 processing fee and $15 photo fee goes to the Pottawattamie County General Fund.
Initially, the State Department would not allow the recorder’s office to become a passport Acceptance Facility because the post office in Council Bluffs already was a Passport Acceptance Facility.
After almost a year of holding discussions with the State Department, I contacted Sen. Chuck Grassley.
I explained to him that the post office was only able to process passport applications on an appointment basis, and they were booked up to four weeks. Consequently, many Pottawattamie County residents were going to Omaha or Bellevue to get their passports, since it already takes four to six weeks to get your passport after it is submitted, they didn’t or couldn’t wait an additional four weeks.
Sen. Grassley cut through the bureaucratic red tape and, as of April 1 of this year, we became a Passport Acceptance Facility. As of Oct. 27, we have processed more than 900 applications and generated over $33,000 in more than revenue.
Since I reorganized and automated some of the work in the recorder’s office, I did not hire any additional staff for this new service. Therefore, this is truly new money for the general fund.
None of this would have been possible without Sen. Grassley. Thank you, Mr. Senator!
Mark A. Brandenburg,
Pottawattamie County Recorder
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