Walnut Cove held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new License Plate Agency (LPA) last week half an hour before opening the doors to the public for the first time.
“It is a good day for the town of Walnut Cove and the people of Walnut Cove and the surrounding area,” said Town Manager Monty Stevens, who has overseen both the construction of the new office and hiring for all of the new employees. “Since we initially thought we were going to open until today we probably turned away 200 to 250 people that have come by wanting to get their tags.”
In fact, customers were already showing up before the ribbon was cut, and half an hour later when the LPA officially opened 10 people, led by Walnut Cove Commissioner Elwood Mabe were in line ready for service.
Stevens said there is sign at the former location of the LPA directing customers to the new location.
“We are really excited the town took a chance on us and built us a brand new office with new equipment,” said LPA Manager Kim Greenwood. “We are going to have an excellent staff to serve the public. I have worked with DMV for 30 years and Sandra Rogers has worked with them for 13 years so between us we have 30 to 0 years of experience doing work like this.”
New staff at the office also includes Kaye Webb and Audrey Bennett.
“The staff went to school for about three weeks,” said Stevens. “We tried to coincide their getting out of school with the opening, but with the difficulties we had with the phone company getting their stuff done and the state getting conduit put in we had to delay by about two weeks.”
Stevens said the new facility had 500 square feet of space, as well additional office space.
“I think this is something the folks here in town should be really proud of,” he said. “It really turned out well.”
Incoming Town Manager Booby Miller agreed.
“It is a great relief that we have gotten this up and running,” he said. “It has been such a man part of the downtown area for so many years, it is just great to have back and open.”
“I am just excited to be back int he community and be able to do something like this,” Greenwood said. “I will be a working manager. We have three full-time staff and one part-time staff, so we will have enough staff to handle any lines. They are all well trained and well versed in this.”
He added that in all of his years working for the DMV he has never been in a new facility.
“To come into something new is amazing,” he said. “If it had not been for the town commissioners we would not have had this. It is a big on-taking to decide to do a service like this for the state government. They have never complained and have given me everything I need to run a tag office.”
The new agency, located in Town Hall at 208 W. Third St, replaces one that closed earlier this year.
The new LPA will be open Monday through Friday (except for state holidays), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The agency’s phone number is 336-591-3252.
LPAs offer vehicle registration services and title transactions, as well as vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. Currently, 120 license plate agencies operate across North Carolina.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.