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Driver Testing Center hopes fading
McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley says responses have not come.

The news is not promising for relocating the Driver Testing Center into McMinnville City Hall. The state has gone silent.
“We were supposed to have gotten some response from the Department of Safety after its last meeting and from Commissioner Bob Oglesby, the Commissioner of General Services for the state of Tennessee, but those responses have not come,” said McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley.
Haley says he did receive an email from state Sen. Randy McNally’s office where McNally requested of Bill Gibbons, Commissioner for the Department of Safety, to explain where the process stood and what could be done to retain the Driver Testing Center in Warren County.
“I have not heard any more than that,” said Haley.
McMinnville officials had been working with the state to relocate the Driver Testing Center into City Hall, but cost became a factor.
“When the state’s General Services got to looking at all the things we would have to do to make the basement appropriate to their wants and needs, it was going to end up costing the city over $300,000 and that’s ridiculous,” said Haley.
Haley continued, “When they (Department of Safety representatives) walked through the basement to begin with, they said it might cost $25,000 to make that a useable space for them. It went to $50,000, then $75,000, then to $100,000 and it just escalated every time General Services either had a visit or got someone else involved with it.”
Added Haley, “I could buy the building out there for what it would cost to renovate the basement” he said referring to the old Driver Testing Station across from WCHS which closed May 31.
Haley says city officials will continue to be hopeful a resolution can be found in order to retain the Driver Testing Center in Warren County. If McNally is named the new lieutenant governor of Tennessee to replace Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who has announced his plans not to seek re-election, he hopes that will help.
“We will continue to work on this,” Haley said. “Sen. McNally could be the new lieutenant governor here soon. Usually, he carries a lot of weight in the legislature so we are hoping something will come from that. He’s a little bit upset on how we got to this point and why our center was cut. Hopefully, we can alleviate this situation. If not, we gave it a great try.”
Local residents are now being directed to facilities in Tullahoma or Cookeville. A Driver Testing Center kiosk, which offers some services, has been placed in Warren County Administrative Offices on Locust Street in County Clerk Lesa Scott’s office.