By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
Dade County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley says that he and Georgia officials have made progress toward establishing a permanent driver’s license office in Dade, and that he hopes to open the facility by this summer.
“I’d like to have them here if we possibly could – and they say it could it happen – by June, possibly July,” said the county boss.
Rumley said the problem so far has been finding a suitable location. Originally, he and the state had looked at a space left over when Dade last summer converted half an old courtroom in the Justice Building into a jail kitchen, but that has now been discarded as too small. Rumley said the area would only accommodate two of the machines required for licensing and the state plans to install six to 10. “They’ll be here forever,” he said.
If that seems a lot, Rumley says the office will be used not just to issue driver’s licenses to Dade residents one or two days a week but to service the needs of the Southeast Lineman Training Center, which is sharing the cost of the project.
The lineman’s college trains classes of 160 prospective linemen three times a year, said Rumley, and as part of their qualification each trainee must obtain a CDL, or commercial driver’s license. Thus, a Trenton location will save the college multiple trips over Lookout Mountain to the driver’s license facility in Rock Spring.
After discarding the Justice Building site, said Rumley, he and the state officials are now considering the site of the old Georgia Forestry Commission office in Trenton. After one of April 2011 tornados swept the office away, the state swapped the property it sat on for a spot further south, close to the county athletic fields, where a new GFC office was built.
Rumley said it should be possible to put up a metal building on the spot in about 30 days once a decision is reached.