Around 30 Marion County residents, including city and county department heads, hospital officials and law enforcement officers, gathered at the Department of Human Services office Friday to discuss how the closing of the local DHS office will impact the community. As previously reported, the Marion County office will operate on a part-time basis as of July 1st. DHS officials state service will not be compromised despite the distance once the system is centralized. Attendees were informed that the major difference is the Marion County office will operate on a part time, appointment only basis and not accept walk-ins. Officials say things can be done easily and more cost effectively though advances in technology and the use of telephones and the internet. They stated that case workers have up to 900 cases each and these changes will not only decrease expenses but also aid in time management. Marion County officials state that they are skeptical but hope for the best. DHS representatives said they understood the county’s resistance against the decision to move services out of the area but commend local officials and the community for their help and cooperation once they realized the decision was final.