North Elba approves satellite DMV office in town hall

The North Elba Town Hall (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

LAKE PLACID — The North Elba Town Council has agreed to let Essex County establish a Department of Motor Vehicles satellite office in its town hall, pending state approval.

Local officials hope establishing a satellite office in Lake Placid will offer a convenient option for residents to access DMV services. They also hope the new office will encourage residents to get those services in Essex County, not at the nearby DMV on the Franklin County side of Saranac Lake.

Essex County keeps 12.7 cents of every dollar residents spend on renewing their license and registration at DMV locations within the county. The county also collects a $25 execution fee on passports.

“(Residents) can use the Saranac Lake DMV, but it’s not income to Essex County,” said North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi. “This way Essex County operates the DMV and generates revenue.

“I think it would be a great service for this community to have a DMV here.”

Politi said the effort was spurred by Essex County Clerk Joseph Provoncha, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Before the county can sign a lease for space in the town hall, the state must approve the creation of the new satellite office as well as its potential layout, according to Politi.

A space on the second floor, the former home of a senior bingo program, has already been set aside for the DMV if it receives that approval.

The space is ADA-compliant, Politi said. Residents would be able to enter through the town hall’s front doors, get into an elevator, go up one floor and walk directly into a sitting area for the DMV.

The county would likely pay no rent for the first year of the lease, according to Politi. It’s unclear how much the county would pay in rent after that. Other county services in the town hall there don’t pay any rent. The state pays roughly $305 per month for an office rented by the Department of Labor on the third floor.

This is the second county department that has considered opening a satellite office in the North Elba Town Hall recently.

Essex County Mental Health signed a lease for space in the North Elba Town Hall last month. The department relocated its satellite office from the Adirondack Medical Center as the hospital continues to move its operations piecemeal to the Lake Placid Health and Medical Fitness Center. Essex County Probation also has a presence in the town hall.

North Elba’s satellite DMV office would be the second opened by the county. There’s also an office on Montcalm Street in Ticonderoga.


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