Driving a deal: County to spend $3.4M to build two new driver services offices
by Sarah Westwood
July 29, 2014 04:00 AM | 2208 views | 3 3 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia Commissioner of Department of Drivers Services Rob Mikell, left, is joined by Gov. Nathan Deal, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee and Commission Helen Goreham   in a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the construction of two new driver’s license facilities to be built in Cobb County this year. One will be replaced on County Services Road and the other in Kennesaw with hopes of cutting down on the wait times for residents.<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Georgia Commissioner of Department of Drivers Services Rob Mikell, left, is joined by Gov. Nathan Deal, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee and Commission Helen Goreham in a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the construction of two new driver’s license facilities to be built in Cobb County this year. One will be replaced on County Services Road and the other in Kennesaw with hopes of cutting down on the wait times for residents.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
slideshow
MARIETTA — The county plans to spend $3.4 million to build a pair of driver services offices set to replace its existing two by next summer.

Drivers use the centers to apply for licenses and take driving tests.

Gov. Nathan Deal led a groundbreaking ceremony alongside Chairman Tim Lee, Commissioner Helen Goreham and representatives from the state Department of Driver Services, kicking off construction on one of the new centers the county plans to build, which will be beside the old one it’s replacing off County Services Parkway.

The other new center will be built in Kennesaw off Old Highway 41 to replace the old center off Canton Road.

County manager David Hankerson said the county hopes to complete construction on both buildings by June or July of next year.

Rob Mikell, Department of Driver Services commissioner, said the state will lease the centers from the county after their completion and will operate the offices using state resources, providing all of the personnel, computers and vehicles needed to run the center.

He said the need for new centers in Cobb is “unbelievable.”

“(The current center) doesn’t meet our needs for our business processes and our business flow,” Mikell said. “There’s no room on the inside.”

Mikell said the center off County Services Parkway — which handles more than 13,000 driver transactions each month — only houses about 75 seats.

Customers are often forced to wait outside under an awning and “in the elements” when the line exceeds the number of chairs available, he said.

Each of the about 10,000 square-foot centers will have 20 service counters and about 220 seats, Mikell said.

“I hope the citizens of Cobb County aren’t actually having to sit in those seats very long, but if they are, they’re there,” he said.

Of the 66 driver services centers across Georgia, Mikell noted the two in Cobb are the fifth and sixth busiest offices in the state.

“When you’re running that many people through a building like this … it’s painful,” he said. “We’re the first contact with so many people when they come to Georgia.”

Mikell said his department internally refers to the current center off County Services Parkway as “the boat” because of its small, awkward feel.

Hankerson said “the boat” is more than 40 years old.

Both Lee and Deal expressed enthusiasm for the joint venture between Cobb and the state.

“We are excited about this partnership with the state, and I believe our residents will really see a benefit once these centers open,” Lee said.

Deal highlighted other projects on which the state is collaborating with Cobb. He said Georgia’s Department of Transportation would likely form more partnerships with the county thanks to the impending Braves move.

“As the new Braves stadium comes online, I feel certain that there will be even more connectivity to major roadways in order to facilitate traffic in and about that area,” Deal said.

Comments
(3)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
English Teatime
|
July 29, 2014
I wonder if they will staff the 20 service counters. Or will it be like going into Target where they have lots of check out lanes, but only 4 or 5 open at any given time.
Just Wait
|
July 29, 2014
What good is a larger office with more stations if the state can't afford to completely staff it?
30066
|
July 29, 2014
I have found the Canton Road Facility to be just fine... and very convenient. Waits less than 10 minutes... usually much less.

if it ain't broke...
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides