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Driver’s license office to move from courthouse
County to take over second-floor space for other needs
driver license
Pictured is the Kansas Department of Revenue’s driver’s license office on the second floor of the Barton County Courthouse. The County Commission Tuesday morning approved ending the contract for use of the space and offered to help KDOR find another location. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Noting that there was nothing personal, it was just that the county needed the space, the Barton County Commission Tuesday morning approved canceling the contract with the Kansas Department of Revenue and Barton County to use the second-floor office for the issuing of driver’s licences and other services.

In 2004, Barton County entered into an agreement with the Kansas Department of Revenue to provide for the issuance of driver’s licenses and other related services on the second floor of the courthouse, County Counselor Patrick Hoffman said. That contract was updated in 2017.   

“The 2004 agreement does allow either party to terminate the agreement for no reason, with or without cause,” Hoffman said. This is done by giving a written notice for 180 days. 

“So, in other words, if you were to decide to send a notice to terminate that agreement, it would still continue for an additional 180 days,” he said. This would give the KDOR the opportunity to find an alternative location. 

However, the county has offered the agency space in the county office building at 12th and Kansas. The county has also offered to help them move. 

“It’s not like we’re just throwing them to the curb,” Chairman Jim Daily, District 4, said. “We’ve offered them another space.”

Room at the courthouse is at a premium, he said. “The courthouse space is becoming more necessary for us to utilize for some other function.”

Hoffman said the six-month timeframe gives both sides plenty of time explore alternatives.

“We need to get this process started,” Daily said.

Representatives from the KDOR attended the meeting virtually and they were assured the proposed new site is slightly larger than their current one, is on the ground level and has an adjoining restroom. “It’s actually probably a better space,” said District 2 Commissioner Barb Esfeld, who had visited on the phone with KDOR officials.

Revenue staff will visit with Interim County Administrator Barry McManaman and County Facilities Director Phil Hathcock about setting up a tour of the new location.

It was noted that the change could happen sooner than 180 days.

“I think it’s important to just make sure everybody knows that we’re absolutely willing to work with you guys,” District 3 Commissioner Shawn Hutchinson said. “There are no hard feelings here of any sort, it’s just a matter of logistics, and we can help you guys get up and going again right away. So, if you guys are willing to work with us we’re willing to work with you.”