Within hours of Wednesday's News-Times publishing an editorial lamenting the threatened closure of the state Department of Motor Vehicles office in Evans, county officials announced an agreement had been reached to keep the office open.
The timing may have been bad for this newspaper, which, thanks to printing schedules, wasted its thunder the next day on a suddenly moot point. But its great news for Columbia County.
This brouhaha began when county officials sought a new site for the DMV office, which currently is located in the Government Complex in Evans. The growing crush of DMV and county customers have taken a toll on the sites parking, so county officials picked a larger space nearby and offered to pay for the DMV to move there - and to pay the state agencys rent, too.
The DMV said the proposed space wasnt big enough - even though it represented a 40 percent increase in square footage - and announced the office would close down at the end of March.
The idea didnt sit well with citizens, facing the prospect of long drives to either Thomson or south Augusta for drivers license applications. Local elected officials, including state lawmakers, heard the customer and constituent complaints loud and clear - and made sure the state DMV heard them, too.
As a result, the DMV withdrew their threat to close down. Theyll work with Columbia County officials to come to an agreement by the end of June.
Thats great news. The Evans office is the busiest drivers license bureau in the area, and shutting it down would have been a travesty. Threatening to do so was irrational, but it got the issue enough attention that a mutually agreeable solution will come from it.
Even if our commentary suffered from bad timing, at least the outcome for the community is good.
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