October 29, 2009
Affton, Blue Springs, Branson West, Harrisonville, St. Louis, Sullivan & Waynesville License Office Contracts Awarded
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon's reformed bidding process for local motor vehicle and license offices has resulted in the awarding of seven more license office management contracts to a combination of new and current agents.
"In the past, license offices were given out at the Governor's discretion, in many cases to his political allies," Gov. Nixon said. "Now, an open and transparent competitive process is used, and professional evaluation teams award the bids based on financial efficiencies and customer service. This new system promotes innovation, and opens up the potential management of these offices to anyone who is willing to submit a quality bid."
The seven offices awarded today are in Affton, Blue Springs, Branson West, Harrisonville, St. Louis, Sullivan and Waynesville. All of the offices will remain at their current locations except in Sullivan.
Bidders also have the option of returning a portion of the office's revenues to the state. Six of this week's winning bidders will return some of their revenues to the state. The cumulative amount of funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 127 offices that have been awarded so far under the new bidding process is $688,383.
The Affton License Office has been awarded to a new agent, The Lavin Co., LLC. The company is associated with Patrick J. Murphy and his son, James W. Murphy, both of St. Louis County. The elder Murphy is a businessman who previously assisted his wife in the operation of the Bridgeton License Office. The winning bid was one of four submitted. An 8 percent ($22,478) return to the state was included in the bid. The office is located at 9503 Gravois Rd.
The City of Blue Springs will continue to be the agent for the Blue Springs License Office. The city has been the agent since 1975, and its winning bid was one of three that were submitted. The office is located at 903 Main St., and a 3 percent ($12,444) return to the state was included in the bid.
The Branson West (Lakeview) License Office, located at 11016 E. State Highway 76 (Suite 35) in Branson West, has been awarded to a new agent, BT Express. The company is associated with Barbara Ghan, who is the current interim agent at the Branson License Office and has past experience with the South Fremont Office in Springfield and the Republic License Office. The winning bid was chosen from two that were submitted. A 2 percent ($2,567) return to the state was included in the bid.
Red Moon Enterprises, LLC has been named as the agent for the Harrisonville License Office, which is at 2773 Cantrell Rd. The company is associated with Tracy Zahnd, who has been the incumbent agent since 2007. Red Moon is also the agent for the Parkville License Office. Red Moon's winning proposal was one of three bids for the office. As part of its bid, Red Moon will return 5 percent ($10,904) of the office's estimated first-year revenues to the state.
The South Kingshighway License Office in St. Louis management contract has been awarded to South Kingshighway Services, LLC. The company is associated with Damir Huskic, who has been the incumbent agent since 2005. The company's bid was one of four submitted. A 5.2 percent ($20,380) return to the state was included in the bid. The office is located at 4628 S. Kingshighway Blvd.
Jackie and Steve Vaughn of Viburnum have been selected to be the new agents for the Sullivan License Office. The office, currently located at 4 W. Main St., will move to a new location at 111 Progress Dr. Jackie Vaughn has previous experience from working at the Viburnum, Potosi and Sullivan license offices. No return to the state was included in the bid, which was the only one submitted.
The Waynesville License Office, located at 209 North St., has been awarded to a new agent, the Pulaski County Growth Alliance. The group, located in Waynesville, promotes economic development for the Pulaski County area. The group's winning bid included a 5 percent ($11,556) return to the state. The winning bid was one of four submitted.
Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.
Although Gov. Nixon authorized the Missouri Department of Revenue to implement the new bidding system in January, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor this past summer. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri Legislature.
Of the 127 offices awarded so far, 72 have gone to incumbents or been awarded to relatives or groups associated with incumbent agents. Fifty-five of the offices have been awarded to new agents. Of the 183 total offices, bidding has closed on 181, and two remain open. For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.
Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted what the department's evaluation teams look for when rating the license office bids.
"Obviously, an agent's education and experience either with license offices or in the business world is one aspect that is important," she said. "In addition, the teams evaluate the bidders' proposed staffs, their customer service plans, whether the bidders are financially stable, and whether the proposed office location is acceptable. Points are also awarded for the financial return to the state, and whether a bidder is a not-for-profit corporation or a minority- or woman-owned business."
All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Department of Revenue, but each office is operated by an independent contractor. Transactions that are conducted at these offices include the issuance and renewal of driver licenses, issuance of titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.
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