The Chautauqua County Legislature is considering a resolution to move the current DMV office, located on Cherry St. between Third and Fourth Streets, to the Northcrest Business Park at 222 Fluvanna Ave – which once housed the Ames and Big N Department stores. The county would use a total of 3040 sq ft of space.
County Clerk Larry Barmore, who’s office oversees DMV operations throughout the county, is spearheading the effort to relocate the Jamestown DMV office. According to Barmore, there are several reasons for the move, including the need for better efficiency in working with customers who come into the DMV to conduct business.
“Basically, the layout of the building is just bad,” Barmore explained to WRFA during an interview on Wednesday. “Our computers in the Jamestown office are not secure from costumer view – the way the office is set up is just totally inefficient. The customers should not be able to see what is on the computer screen, which may be somebody else’s information.”
But that’s not all.
“Also the intake is right as you come in the front door, and when we’re busy there’s a long line going all the way from the front to the back,” Barmore said. “So anybody who’s coming in or going out has to walk through that line of people. And also for the clerks that we have working on the backside of the office, it’s difficult for customers to see them.”
Barmore also said that just getting to the DMV office can sometimes be a problem, considering there is limited parking near the immediate entrance. He said that by relocating the office to the new location, it will allow for ample and free parking.
“Anybody that’s coming to use the DMV during a busy time of the day may have to park two or even three blocks away,” Barmore said. “Often times we get complaints from people who’ve gotten parking tickets, because they’ll put a quarter in the meter thinking they’ll be in and out within half an hour, but it actually took longer and so they’ll come out and they’ll have a parking ticket. So moving to [Fluvanna Ave] is going to alleviate all these problems.”
Barmore says that if the legislature approves the move, it would likely take place June 1 of this year.
Even if the DMV were to move to Fluvanna Ave., the current Cherry St. location wouldn’t be vacant for long because the county Department of Health and Human Services would likely move a portion of its DSS operation into the Cherry St. space, creating a more efficient and cost-saving central intake that would allow shorter wait times, better customer service, and improved safety for the public and employees.
As for the cost of the move, Barmore said it would cost about $10,000 to relocate and set up the new DMV office. The actual cost for renting space would be about $41,000 per year during the first two years of the lease agreement. Rent would go up to over $48,500 in the third year, and over $50,000 in the seventh year of the 10-year lease agreement.
But even with the new lease, Barmore says the county will see a minimum overall increase in expenses. That’s because the first two years’ rent would be offset by savings that would take place through the relocation of the DSS office. He said by year three, more revenue is also projected to be coming into the DMV because of the return of license renewal fees, which would help to offset the $7500 annual increase.
The County Legislature’s Administrative Services Committee will discuss the resolution during its meeting next Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Gerace Office Building. It will go before the full legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 25.