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September 10, 2009

Arnold, Ava, Marble Hill, Maryville, Poplar Bluff & Trenton License Offices Awarded After Competitive Bidding Process

JEFFERSON CITY - Six more local motor vehicle/license offices have been awarded to agents after undergoing a competitive bidding process championed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The offices awarded today are in Arnold, Ava, Marble Hill, Maryville, Poplar Bluff and Trenton.  This brings to 81 the total number of offices granted under the new system.         

The Community Service Arnold Jaycees will continue to operate the license office in Arnold.  The not-for-profit group has been the office agent since 1976.  The location of the office will stay at 3540 Jeffco Blvd., Suite 120.

Alternative Opportunities, Inc. of Springfield has been awarded the Ava License Office.  The not-for-profit-corporation, which provides employment services and assistance to young people, the disabled and families in crisis, is a new agent for the office.  The office will move to a new location in Ava - 304 NW 12th Ave. 

Alternative Opportunities has also earned the contract for the Poplar Bluff License Office.  The corporation is a new agent for the office, which will continue to be at 1875 N. Westwood Blvd.

Richard E. VanGennip will continue in his role as the agent of the Marble Hill License Office.  He has run the office since 2005.  The office will remain at 606 Highway 34 West.

The Maryville License Office will continue to be operated by the Maryville Chamber of Commerce.  It has been the office agent since 1982.  The office will stay at its current location of 423 N. Market St.

The Trenton License Office will continue to be run by the Trenton Chamber of Commerce.  The chamber has operated the office since 1981, and the office will stay at 617 Main St.

Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.

The six offices awarded today are the latest to have their management chosen using a comprehensive bidding process that was implemented when Gov. Nixon took office on Jan. 12.  The process calls for people or groups to submit detailed bids to obtain the management contracts to operate the offices.  The Arnold, Maryville and Trenton license offices each received one bid; Ava and Marble Hill each received two bids; and Poplar Bluff received four bids.

This new process was codified in state law when Gov. Nixon signed legislation on July 1 that made the new system a permanent part of state law.  The bill endorsing the change passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the Missouri Senate and House.

"This new system takes the politics out of the system," Gov. Nixon said. "Under the old system, offices were handed out mainly to political supporters, and there was no thought given to customer service or office efficiencies.  Now, anyone can bid on an office, and the person or group who develops the best proposal gets to run the office."

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, also applauded the new process.

"The new system provides incentives for both current agents and new bidders to improve the operations at the offices," she said.  "Although incumbent agents have earned the right to continue to operate several of the offices, they can no longer be complacent because they could lose a bid if a competitor offers a better plan."

Some winning bidders have chosen to return part of their estimated office revenues to the state.  The Ava License Office will return 2 percent ($1,576) of its first-year revenues, Marble Hill will return 2 percent ($1,327), and Poplar Bluff will return 5 percent ($13,378).  The Arnold, Maryville and Trenton bid proposals did not include a return to the state.  The cumulative amount of estimated funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 81 license offices that have been awarded so far is $489,879.

Of the 183 license offices, 81 have been awarded and the bidding time has closed for another 83.  The remaining 19 offices are still open for bid.  For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.

All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Missouri 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, applying for titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.

Additional information on the bids will be posted by the Missouri Office of Administration within the next few days.