Despite the fact that it is a function of the state, the Motor Vehicle Department still garners success in Girard and Pittsburg.

Despite the fact that it is a function of the state, the Motor Vehicle Department still garners success in Girard and Pittsburg.

Crawford County Treasurer Joe Grisolano said that the Motor Vehicle department, while being a function of the state, has been operated by county treasurers for 80 years.

“It is completely separate from our levied general fund,” Grisolano said.

But, each year there is an annual budget set for the department and, Grisolano said, the budget for 2011 has a slight increase from 2010. The budget for 2011 has an increase of just over $2,000 and he said that it is the satellite office in Pittsburg that has been impressive in performance.

“Each year, the Pittsburg office gets more popular,” Grisolano said. “It’s a great service and it does collect to offset some expenses.”

In fact, in 2010, the office at the Crawford County Judicial Center in Pittsburg has accounted for 38 percent of all vehicle transactions — an increase from 34 percent in 2009. In 2009, the office collected $16,182 in additional revenue with an extra dollar charged for a convenience fee. Thus far, in 2010, the office has collected $14,178 with two months remaining and November being one of the busiest months of the year for vehicle transactions, Grisolano said.

The office in Pittsburg has seen such growth that Grisolano said they had to install an electronic counter for customers that keeps those in the office in order of when they arrive.

“It gets very busy there and this helps keep things in line,” Grisolano said.

The success of the satellite office in Pittsburg was taken note of by Crawford County commissioners.

“Having the satellite office in Pittsburg seems to really be paying off,” said Commissioner Linda Grilz.

As for the Motor Vehicle department budget, Grisolano said that he will be holding out $10,000 in potential transfer money so that new counters can be installed at the Girard location because of a new statewide computer system that will be installed sometime in 2011.

Grisolano said that the new equipment will be purchased by the state, but the current configuration of the Motor Vehicle office in Girard will not allow for workspaces for all employees.

In fact, in the 2011 budget, there is a line item increased for commodities to allow for staff members to be trained on the new DMVS system that each county in Kansas will be using.

“Even with the reserves I’m going to hold back, we’re still transferring over $6,000 to the general fund,” Grisolano said.

In addition to the Pittsburg office and the 2011 budget, the Motor Vehicle department became just the second office in the state to be chosen as a regional location to handle registration and tagging of over-the-road semi trucks and trailers for the state. Prior to setting up regional sites, semi owners were forced to drive to Topeka for the function that has been moved to a more regional function.

“It has been an extra workload for the Motor Vehicle team, but we see it as a service to the public,” Grisolano said.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140