New DOT driver's license center on the horizon for booming Dallas County?December 04, 2018
Nearly three years after a partisan squabble torpedoed plans for a new state driver's license station in Iowa's fastest-growing county, Gov. Kim Reynolds is being asked to resurrect the project for Dallas County residents.
The issue became a political football in the Iowa Legislature in 2016 after state Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, blocked the plans and criticized drivers of "leased Lexuses" in Des Moines' prosperous western suburbs who repeatedly refused to support ballot measures to expand county government facilities.
Angry Dallas County Republicans claimed their county was unfairly targeted by Senate Democrats.
Iowa Department of Transportation Director Mark Lowe unveiled the latest proposal Monday in a budget presentation to Reynolds. He suggested a larger state driver's license center is needed to replace the small county-operated, license-issuing facility in Adel.
Lowe requested $515,000 in operational funds and $350,000 in capital funds for the project.
Dallas County "has exploded in population and exploded in business," said Lowe, noting the county now has 89,775 residents, more than double the 40,750 people who lived there in 2000. The county is currently issuing 26,000 driver's licenses and state identification cards annually, which is more than seven times the average for counties that offer driver's license services.