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July 12, 2012 06:09 PM

License Plan Could Come At A Cost To The County

Sioux Falls, SD

Waiting for driver's licenses drove a lot of conversation in South Dakota this week.  Long lines and unwanted noise prompted the Minnehaha County Commission not to renew the driver license office's lease in the administration building.  Governor Dennis Daugaard then announced a six point plan to improve service at exam stations. 

While one county commissioner approves of the plan, it will come at a cost to the county.

The wait may be long, but Scott Knochenmus still comes to this DMV because it's easy to find.

"It’s a good location," Knochenmus said.

But that will soon change. The Minnehaha County Commission voted to not renew its lease, saying the small space is causing people to spill into the hallway, creating distractions.

"I think really we had no choice because as our business expands, we need more space in our own building," Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth said.

The governor announced a six-point plan to improve services. It adds kiosks and scheduling, but it also extends hours at licensing centers.

That could put a strain on an already taxed county budget.

"From the perspective of the county, we're going to have some additional costs," Barth said.

The county will need to hire extra security and change custodial services. While the added costs should only be temporary until the DMV finds a new home, Barth believes the plan will fulfill the Governor's ultimate goal.

"I hope this gets resolved for everybody in some near future time.  In the meantime, we just don't have the space," Barth said.

Still, not everyone is happy the DMV is getting a new home.

"I think it's just fine here; I don't know why they have to move this facility," Knochenmus said.

Barth says even if the extended hours relieve some of the congestion, the DMV will still have to move out. He says there's no room elsewhere in the building, and the State's Attorney's office needs the space to expand.

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