Security has been beefed up at St. Clair City Hall as officials strive to make the facility as safe as possible while also making an office location change at the same time.

The board of aldermen earlier this month approved spending about $3,300 to install a security surveillance camera near the clerk’s and collector’s offices in the front lobby as well as mount three cameras in and around the courtroom and adjacent court clerk’s office. The board also approved Court Clerk Cindy Schmitt moving into that office to free space in the main office area of the building.

Schmitt switched locations shortly after getting board approval to do so.

“This should make our court operations even smoother,” City Administrator Rick Childers said in discussing Schmitt’s move to the actual court office. “It makes more sense to do this.”

Mayor Ron Blum said the court clerk used to be located in that office, but some problems forced the city to move the employee to the office area where City Clerk Chris Fawe is located. That area also includes both Blum’s and Childers’ offices.

“We feel this is the appropriate move at this time,” Blum said.

With the court clerk’s move away from regular city hall traffic, to increase security a surveillance camera was mounted in her office facing the door. It will monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Two cameras also were installed in the courtroom itself.

The cost for the cameras, data storage, activation and miscellaneous expenses through Alarm Security LLC totals $2,066.

In the lobby, one camera was installed near the outside corner of the collector’s office and the space that houses City Inspector Jeremy Crowe and Public Works Director Ed Bliss.

“It will point back to the clerk’s window,” Childers said, adding he believes this provides the best option to be able to view customers at both the clerk and collector windows.

That camera carried a $1,268 price tag.

The city administrator said he talked to Police Chief Bill Hammack about having security cameras added in city hall, and they agreed it would be in the best interests of the city to do so.

Childers said this week the new cameras are ready to go and are in the “de-bugging stage.”