Sedgwick County commissioners unanimously approved the contract for a new office at a former Dillons store on the southwest corner of Douglas and Meridian.
The tag office issues license plates. Parking has long been a concern at 200 W. Murdock, where the office has been since 1988. Both county staff and customers often have to park on the street.
“It’s much too small and there are far too few parking spaces,” facilities director Steve Claassen said.
Available parking will more than quadruple, from 32 spaces to 139 spaces. The office will be at 2525 W. Douglas.
Claassen said its close proximity to Kellogg “should provide most residents with really good access to the facility.”
The property was appraised at $553,700, according to Claassen. The renovated building will cost the county about $1.65 million. Claassen said the current owner would do the renovations.
With $673,000 in other costs like furniture, computer networking and moving, commissioners approved $2.32 million for the project on Wednesday.
The longest-tenured county commissioner, Tim Norton, said he remembered talking about a new tag office with staff on his first day as a commissioner in 2001.
County officials said they were happy to find a new location.
“It’s about time that we solved that issue,” said commissioner Dave Unruh. “I think this is a good solution.”
“I’m just very thankful,” said county treasurer Linda Kizzire, who has been pushing for a new tag office.
The county decided to not locate the tag office at the former IRS building downtown. That building, at 271 W. Third St., will soon house the joint city-county building and construction department and the city planning department.
Three bids were submitted for the tag office in June after the county issued a request for proposal to local developers. Dome Enterprises LLC, who owns the former Dillons building, was awarded the contract.
The construction should take about four months. Claassen said the county will open the around the end of May.
“It’ll help that area, and I think it’s going to be a big plus once we get it fully up and operating,” said commissioner Karl Peterjohn.
Sedgwick County also has three satellite tag offices: in Derby, in the 21st and Maize Road area and Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn.