It’s not over until McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley gives up.
The Driver Testing Center could receive a last-minute reprieve from closing thanks to swift intervention.
“I am calling a board meeting for Monday, June 19 at 5:15 p.m. to vote on a new ordinance,” said Haley on Friday. “I negotiated a one-year lease agreement today with the state. Verbiage in the ordinance will reflect that change.”
On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen failed to reach an agreement with the state with one area of contention being that the agreement would be for two years, not one. The measure failed on a tie vote of 3-3.
Haley hopes the last-minute change will sway members of the board, in particular the descending votes from Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Mike Neal and Steve Harvey.
“We have a plan to move forward,” said Haley. “A valuable citizen service will be preserved for another year.”
The agreement with the state remains the same in other areas. Specifically, the city will pay $4,000 a month in rent for a year, while the state pays all other expenses and attempts, once again, to reinstate full funding to the center in its next budget discussions in 2018.
Another area of contention is the county is not mentioned in the contract between the city and state – leaving the city to fund the endeavor without assistance from Warren County. However, the Warren County Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday night. Among the items on the agenda is a resolution to reimburse the city $2,000 a month toward the expense.
Haley says he will attend that meeting and hopes to report the city has approved the contract with the state at the 11th hour so the county can move forward with its plan to continue paying half.
“I will address the Warren County Commission to request their continued financial support and extend the very successful partnership we have on co-funding the driver license operations here,” said Haley. “Teamwork made it happen before and teamwork will make it happen again. We can do this.”
If approved this Monday night by city officials, a second passing read is required at the June 27 board meeting.