Driver's license services will be available at the Plymouth County courthouse only on Thursdays this May due to shortages of staff from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The hours on Thursdays will remain the same: License renewals are offered from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For written tests, drivers should come by 3:45 to have time for tests to be completed and checked. Driving tests are given on a first come, first served basis. Motorcycle driving tests are only given at 3 p.m., weather permitting.
IDOT plans to return to both Thursday and Friday hours in June.
Longer term changes to driver's license services were under discussion by the Plymouth County board of supervisors at their weekly meeting Wednesday. IDOT announced last fall that services would only be retained in eight cities, including Sioux City, after June 30, 2003. To offer services in other counties, county government would need to take charge of the program.
Linda Dobson, county treasurer, reported to the supervisors that there was no secure space in the treasurer's office on the main floor to move the testing and licensing operations.
Board Chairman Dave Vander Hamm suggested Wednesday that it might be possible for the county to hire part-time help to offer two days of service in the courthouse in 2003, suggesting retired persons might be available to do the work. With the sheriff's office to move to the law enforcement center and jail when it is completed on East 14th Street, there might be space available in the courthouse, Vander Hamm offered.
Plymouth County Auditor K. Kae Meyer said, "I think other counties have found it doesn't pay for itself. The county ends up paying for it."
Dobson had explained at earlier sessions: the county may only receive $3.75 from each driver's license. There are also many services which must be provided without any charge, such as giving written tests that are failed, providing information, and administering driving tests.
Supervisor Jim Kestner volunteered to be part of a committee, if the group's recommendations would be backed by the board of supervisors.
"There's still five votes on the board," Vander Hamm responded.
Kestner apologized for any misunderstanding. He explained that the committee would study the matter in order to make a proposal to the board.
Supervisor Jack Spies suggested getting input from the Iowa State Association of Counties.