She hopes it’s good to go in 60 days

    Crookston’s Driver & Vehicle Services Center is getting some customer-friendly upgrades during their office remodel in the Polk County Government Center. Director of Property Records Michelle Cote told the Times the remodel will consist of three or four different layers of renovations and their temporary location at the Government Center is on the main floor, down the stairs, where they used to hold driver’s license exams.

    The remodel timeline? Cote said her “perfect timeline” would be 60 days.

    The center had planned to begin their remodel earlier in the year, but elevator issues caused a delay.

    “We needed to assure we had a functioning elevator for that time because we have customers that need access to that,” Cote explained. “Our temporary location is set up very similarly to how we will be set up upstairs.”

    With the new layout, DVS customers will come and sit down at an employee’s “cube” or station with more of a “bank teller” feel. Each station will be handicap accessible and the hope is it will make the customer experience just as good as the employee experience.

    Cote says they will have to do an asbestos abatement for the floor covering as the tiles underneath are original to the building which creates a “hurry up and wait” situation, but that will give them time to do wiring to drop data and power to each cube.

    “I would be ecstatic if we were back up and ready to go by September 1,” Cote remarked. “I’m super excited.”

MNLARS GRANT

    Polk County has been awarded a deputy registrar reimbursement grant from the state stemming from Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS) difficulties in the recent past. The Polk County Board of Commissioners accepted the grant of $39,608.97 (new numbers provided by Cote based on the state calculated grant formula) and signed a waiver to hold the state harmless from “any and all” claims for damages.

    2019 Legislation signed by Governor Walz included an appropriation of $13 million statewide for deputy registrar reimbursement grants related to the “development and deployment” of the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS.)

    “We are a public deputy and can utilize things easier, whereas a private deputy might be more susceptible to the highs and lows of MNLARS,” Cote explained. “The Minnesota Department of Registration Association have been good at channeling information to deputies, public or private, of where the state is at (with MNLARS.)”

    The state calculated the grant amount using the formula specified in legislation based on 10 percent of available funds “allocated equally among all deputy registrars” and 45 percent of all available funds “allocated proportionally based on the number of transactions where a filing fee was retained by the deputy registrar from August 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018 compared to the total number of transactions where a filing fee is retained by all deputy registrars.” - information attained from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety letter to Cote.