Rural Oklahoma DPS offices saved

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Financially-strapped Driver's License Offices in southern Oklahoma are facing closure, and for the ones left looking at no money for improvements, there may now be light at the end of the tunnel. Robin Beal has the story.

You may remember when KXII-TV showed you the cramped quarters of Ardmore’s Driver’s License Office and told you that no money would soon mean offices in some surrounding counties would be closed for good.

Now it looks like a last-minute appropriation will save those small-town offices.

Legislators worked well into the night Friday and voted at 10:20 p.m. to funnel emergency money in order to keep some 32 offices open-- at least for the next year.

Officials feared the worst last week as the legislative session was coming to an end, and nothing was being done about the dire funding situation the Department of Public Safety is apparently facing.

It is unclear exactly how much emergency money will be available. The director of the DPS says a hard number will not be available until the governor signs the legislation and it actually becomes law, but this is a one-time only deal designed to keep those offices open.

It will be up to legislators to come up with something more permanent in the 2009 session.

DPS officials say they will review specific office needs this summer and hope to use some of the money to make much-needed improvements to the office in Ardmore.

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