Photo by Matthew Allen.
Satellite tag office
Funding for a new satellite car tag office has been approved for this space near Green Valley Drugs.
Residents of Hoover and surrounding areas wanting to avoid driving to downtown Birmingham or dealing with traffic on Alabama 150 will soon have a more convenient place to renew their car tags or buy new ones.
The Jefferson County Commission, in a committee Tuesday, April 7, approved a request to spend $850,000 to build and equip a new full-service satellite car tag office in the Hoover Court Town Center on U.S. 31. The county build out and conversion of the building should be completed by early June then equipment will be moved in.
By late 2015, Jefferson County residents should be able to begin buying new vehicle tags, boating licenses and filling out vehicle title applications at the strip retail center, located on U.S. 31 about a mile from Interstate 65.
Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington made the motion to approve the plan, saying it will be a great service for citizens of Hoover, Vestavia and other nearby cities. The motion was approved 4-1, with fellow commissioners Joe Knight, Jimmy Stephens and George Bowman supporting.
Commissioner Sandra Little Brown voted no, saying putting the satellite car tag office on Green Springs Avenue would reach more residents of the county. The measure goes before the full county commission for a vote this Thursday.
Currently, Jefferson County citizens must get their new car tags/renewals, vehicle title applications and boating licenses at the downtown Birmingham county courthouse or satellite offices in Bessemer, Center Point or the Hoover Met just off Alabama 150.
The Hoover Met office only has three windows, whereas the new satellite office in Hoover Court Town Center will have 12 windows, speeding up lines. Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos, a former mayor of Hoover, has said finding a more convenient permanent site in Hoover has been a priority for the commission.
“You have car dealerships up and down Highway 31,” Petelos said, adding the new site will be a better fit than the smaller satellite office in the Hoover Met.
Commissioner Brown, who lives in Birmingham, complained that the Hoover Court Town Center location “is closer to Shelby County than a lot of the zip codes we serve.”
“I want us to monitor how many people will use it,” Brown said. “I don’t see it as being a good site. If we put the satellite office back in Green Springs, we will be closer and serve a lot more people.”
Joe Box, owner/pharmacist of Green Valley Drugs in Hoover Court Town Center, said the new satellite car tag office will be a shot in the arm for both business owners in the center and Hoover residents.
"It will be a wonderful addition to our center," said Box, whose father founded Green Valley Drugs in the center in 1961. "It will be major convenience for residents. Ask anybody wanting to avoid those long lines at the downtown county courthouse."
The county agreement with Hoover Court Investors LLC/Murer LLC calls for a 10-year initial term with two five-year renewal options. Under the plan, the Jefferson County Commission will pay the owner $500,000 to build-out the satellite tag office. The remaining $350,000 will be used to pay for architects/engineers, security cameras, phones/furniture and burglar alarms.