By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Approval for Driver Center funds
City gives final approval for Driver Testing Center funds
Placeholder Image

Plans are moving forward in the city’s effort to relocate our Driver Testing Center to City Hall prior to the state’s May 31 deadline to close it.
On Tuesday, funds for renovation were dedicated, word came from the city attorney the lease agreement is close to being ready for officials to review, and a fact-finding session and walk through of the space was conducted between state and city officials.
City officials gave final approval to spend up to $50,000 to renovate the basement for the state to use. The measure passed 6-1. Alderman Mike Neal voted against it.
After approval of funding, city attorney Tim Pirtle informed board members he was very close to finalizing negotiations with the state on a lease agreement and a special called session can be arranged for their consideration.
“I have a report on the lease,” said Pirtle. “I’ve communicated with the state’s attorney and he’s communicated with me about the lease. I think the lease is very close to final form and he (Mike Boshers, facility director for Department of Safety) said he would be getting back with me on it tomorrow. I think you could safely schedule a meeting for first read on the lease pretty much at any time.”
Boshers and Rissy Littlepage, interior planning specialist for the state of Tennessee Department of General Services, were at City Hall on Tuesday morning for a fact-finding session and walk-through review of the basement and plans on its future renovation.
Alderman Everett Brock expressed concern about whether the city could complete renovation of the basement by the May 31 deadline set by the state on closing its current facility, but Boshers said he doesn’t see that as a problem.
“If we sign the lease and start the process, we’re coming,” said Boshers. “There’s no doubt about that. We’re going to have a signed bonding agreement on this.”
Alderman Mike Neal expressed concern for the stipulation in the lease agreement that gives the state use of the space for five years with an option to renew for an additional five years and he asked of Boshers if that part was negotiable.
“If you guys don’t want us here for five years, sure,” said Boshers. “I don’t see the ROI in that. Your return on investment. I don’t see that. If you are going to go less than five (years), then why are we having these discussions? That doesn’t make sense. Why would you invest all this money and fight so hard for your citizens to keep this function if you don’t want it for at least five more years?”
Boshers added the state cannot be in the process of moving every year or two and if the city doesn’t want a long-term lease then maybe the state should reconsider its decision to move into City Hall.
Mayor Jimmy Haley assured Boshers that Neal’s concern is not necessarily shared by the entire board.
“Let our lawyers talk about it because that’s coming from an alderman,” said Haley. “That’s not necessarily the desire of the board.”
Brock added, “We haven’t talked about that, except informally, or voted on that.”
The lease agreement with the state requires two passing reads before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. A special called session, if one is arranged, will be first consideration.