There will be one-stop shopping soon for drivers on the west side of the city who need both licenses and car titles.
The Butler County Clerk of Courts will open a location outside the Government Services Center on High Street in Hamilton, so the office can offer hours on Saturdays in the county seat.
Butler County commissioners this week approved a five-year, $88,000 lease for office space at 744 Northwest Washington Blvd. across from Walmart and next to Rib City Barbeque. The west Hamilton Bureau of Motor Vehicles office is also moving from its location on Brookwood Avenue, directly next door, according to Clerk of Courts Mary Swain.
There are win-wins all around with the new location, according to Clerk of Courts Assistant Chief Deputy Joe Statzer, namely:
- Parking is free and connected to the location
- Customers often need to go directly to the BMV from the Clerk of Court office or vice versa and now they can do so effortlessly
- It’ll save time. If a customer leaves important information in their car — happens more than you might think — they do not have to travel down five floors to the parking garage or to a space on the street, then back to the office
- Geographically the Hamilton West Side, Fairfield and West Chester Twp. locations give Hamilton residents three choices for title offices that are never more than 10 to 15 minutes away
Swain said the primary reason for opening the new satellite office is customer service, but she also expects adding Saturday hours to bring in more money. The Clerk of Courts office has routinely returned at least $1 million in excess title fees to the general fund. The office estimates a 17 percent, or about $70,000, increase in revenue after the first full year of the office’s opening.
Swain is estimating she will be able to turn $1.275 million to the general fund this year compared to about $1.2 million last year.
“It’s about customer service is what this whole thing is about,” Swain said. “More so than the revenue to be honest, because frankly (the current location in the Government Services Center) is inconvenient for the customer.”
There is a second Hamilton BMV on the east side that will be a bit farther away from the new title office, but Swain said her Fairfield title office is close enough for eastsiders. The registrar at the BMV could not be reached for comment about their move.
Swain said there is work to be done on the 22,000-square-foot space in the west side shopping center so she hopes they can have the move completed by year’s end. The space at the Government Services Center used for the title division will still be used by some staffers and for storage.
She attempted to strike a deal with the owners of the shopping center where the current west side BMV resides two years ago.
“We were just unable to negotiate a lease with those landlords that both sides felt comfortable with,” Swain said.
Butler County Commissioner Cindy Carpenter, who served as the court clerk for four terms, said the clerks office through the years has made a number changes to improve customer service, such as the 24-hour turn around for titles for car dealers, the Saturday hours, and co-locating the title offices and BMVs.
“It’s really important to the citizens that they have that convenience because as everyone knows it can take a very long time to get through the title office and then wait in line to get through the BMV to get your license plate and your title,” Carpenter said. “I think it will be appreciated greatly.”
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