GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The budget problems for Mesa County continue as the lone Department of Motor Vehicle office in the county announces shorter hours of operation in an effort to combat growing wait times.
"We are experiencing higher than ever overtime costs so we are going to bring all of our staff in ready to go at 8 a.m." said Sheila Reiner, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder.
Reiner had scheduled staff in a staggered fashion: having them show up late, in the expectation they would stay late due to long wait times.
The Grand Junction Office has been drastically busier since January. It was then Reiner made the decision to close the DMV offices in Clifton and Fruita, leaving just the Grand Junction office. The move was to control her department's fate, rather than see outside forces make cuts for her. Reiner estimates it saved the county over $200,000. In the months since, overtime costs are around $5,000 and wait times have been well over an hour— averaging 87 minutes thus far for the month of June.
"There are other people that are taking work off, there are people here with their. People are frustrated. Can you call into work three times a week. Your risking your job or risking getting pulled over with no plates. They're both really serious offenses." said Jazmyn Hampton, who was in the office for a second time today.
Long wait times have kept Hampton from successfully completing her business at the DMV, which can't be completed online. She's tried two times earlier this week in addition to the attempts Friday.
"I'm extremely frustrated and I know there are a lot of people inside that are frustrated." she said, "It makes you wonder where's our funding, where's everything going."
The hope is, with staff coming in earlier, they can get a head start on long lines before the rush of people.
"I am confident that we can make it better than it is today. None of us are satisfied with the lines and the times it takes to get through our office."
A little relief lies in the fact that you don't have to wait all 87 minutes out in the DMV office. You can track where your number is in line by using the website apps.mesacounty.us/msqview