Conditions remain promising for relocating McMinnville’s Driver Testing Center to City Hall.
According to McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley, a second review of the basement ended with favorable reviews from Department of Safety Facility Director Mike Boshers.
“A representative from the state came and met with Bill Brock, myself and Nolan Ming and went back down to the lower level here. He was very favorable of it and working out a solution to the removal of the Driver’s License Center from its current location. He was very optimistic.”
In an effort to prevent the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security from closing its Driver Testing Center in Warren County, city officials have offered the basement of City Hall rent free as a relocation option. The offer is tentative and dependent on the state’s approval of the space and the city’s willingness to enter into a contract agreement with the state.
Tennessee Department of Safety assistant commissioner Lori Bullard and Diver Services Division director Michael Hogan have already reviewed the space and relayed to Haley it “might be adequate.” The city Building and Grounds Committee approved a review of the space by the state to determine what renovations need to be made and an estimate on cost.
Haley says the city is supplying the state with computer-aided design drawings and the state Comptroller of the Treasury has given its approval for an agreement between the city and state for use of the space.
“We are supplying some CAD drawings for them to review and they are supposed to get back with us,” Haley said. “The comptroller’s office has said it is legal for us to enter into an agreement with Driver’s License Center folks so the contract we negotiate with them would be a one-on-one negotiation about cost and expenses and what it’s going to be in order for us to save it. We are moving forward with that. It’s not a dead issue. This was the most optimistic visit thus far.”
Alderman Everett Brock asked, “Do we have any idea, at this point in time, what we pay for and what they’ll pay for?”
“Not yet, that’s up to negotiation,” said Haley. “That’s up to us and them to figure out.”
Alderman Jimmy Bonner asked, “Has the county agreed to pay anything?”
“Not if it’s in our building,” said Haley. “If it were in their building, we wouldn’t be willing to pay for anything.”
Alderman Brock asked if the state still planned to install a self-service diver license kiosk at the office of Warren County Clerk Lesa Scott if the center closes.
The state offered the kiosk to the county prior to the city’s offer of its basement. Haley says a kiosk is a state decision.
“That’s still to be decided,” said Haley. “We don’t have any control over that.”
Kiosks have been used in Driver Testing Centers for the past few years as an option for citizens seeking to renew or replace their license only. It cannot be used by someone seeking to obtain their first driver license or an ID card.
The update was information only.