SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady County Department of Motor Vehicles office will be moving to a new location the weekend of Oct. 20, requiring the office to be closed to the public for a couple of days while computers and other equipment are moved.
The office is shifting from downtown Schenectady to a new site at 2025 State St., in a former International House of Pancakes restaurant just east of Balltown Road, next to Bumpy’s Polar Freeze.
County Clerk John Woodward, whose office manages the county’s transactions for the state DMV, said the office will be closed on Friday, Oct. 20 and Monday, Oct. 23. The goal is to re-open in the new location on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and to keep inconvenience to a minimum.
“Basically we hope to move everything on Friday, and then we have to put it back together,” Woodward said. “If we can get going on Monday, we will, but it takes some time to get everything up and going.”
Woodward said he’s looking forward to the move, which will give the department more space and a layout more conducive to customer privacy. The number of customer transaction windows will increase from eight to 10, though Deputy County Clerk Cara Jasenski, who oversees the office, said the total number of employees is expected to remain 16.
“We’re very pleased with the building,” Woodward said. “Our existing DMV is kind of long and narrow. It was an old bank. It always seemed more crowded than it really was.”
The open layout isn’t the only advantage to the new location, since it sits off a busy section of State Street and has on-site parking for about 60 vehicles. “We’ve got more parking, and we’ve got lighted parking, so in the middle of winter it won’t be so dark,” Woodward said.
The county spent about $1.4 million on the building purchase and subsequent renovation work, but Woodward said the net cost of operating at the new site shouldn’t be higher, and the new location’s proximity to Central Avenue auto dealerships could lead to it doing more business. The county receives a fee from the state for each transaction.
The current DMV office at 267 State St. in downtown Schenectady is being sold as part of an arrangement to expand the successful New York BizLab. The BizLab, which serves as an incubator for startup companies, is located at 251 State St. and will buy the DMV building from the county for $250,000.
The county has been paying $30,000 a month to lease a nearby parking lot, and county officials said last winter that if the county were to stay at the current location, the building would need significant maintenance investment.
Under the deal announced a year ago, the county paid $600,000 for the 2025 State St. property.
The county DMV processes nearly 100,000 transactions a year, Woodward said. Woodward expects the new location means the county will conduct more transactions.
“The advantage we have here — you can look at the traffic — is that it’s much more accessible,” Woodward said while inspecting the location on Friday.
Woodward said this is the second time DMV has moved in his 24 years as county clerk. It moved from the county office building to 267 State St. in 1999, a move that caused several days of disruption as equipment was moved.
The 2025 State St. building still lacks computers and furnishings, but they are expected to be put in place over the next two weeks. “We’re under the gun,” Woodward said. “It’s one of those things where you pull it all together in the last two weeks.”
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County