SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Registry of Motor Vehicles promised to build a new R.M.V. branch in Springfield more than a year ago. The 22News I-Team discovered why nothing has been built yet.
The state has a deal with a developer to build a new R.M.V. in Springfield on Martone Place, but more than a year after that contract was signed there’s no guarantee the R.M.V. branch will be built there.
Long lines and even longer wait times at the Springfield R.M.V. on Liberty Street. Over a year ago, the Registry of Motor Vehicles signed a contract with Hunter Development Company out of East Longmeadow to build a new Springfield R.M.V. on Martone Place off St. James Ave. The former Registrar suggested in May 2014, it could open as early as last Fall. That plan, has yet to move forward. Now, the entire proposal is in jeopardy.
“If he (the developer) is not able to obtain the permits from the city of Springfield, then the registry will need to go out and start a new procurement process to find a new location,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney.
(Is there anything on the state’s side that can help with some of these permits or delays?)
“Unfortunately no, this is a local issue,” said Deveney.
The developers have a contract with the state to build a new R.M.V. branch, but the city of Springfield says they have to work out a number of complicated issues before they can begin any construction.
“The city wants the R.M.V., we want it in the city and if it can be on this site and work, great. But at this point they have a lot of legal issues on their side that they have to address,” said Chris Cignoli, Springfield’s Director of their Department of Public Works.
The 22News I-Team obtained a copy of the city’s denial letter sent to the developer on May 5th. The letter states the developers still need permission from an abutting land owner, they need to address a road issue and traffic concerns. Cignoli told the I-Team the developer has had several years to take care of some of these issues. He said the issues are costly and time consuming, but do-able.
“From day one I thought it has been feasible for them to accomplish all these tasks it’s just a matter of doing it,” said Cignoli.
Deveney told 22News a new building wherever it ends up will offer a better experience for customers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean shorter wait times.
The state has not set a firm deadline of if or when they may restart the bidding process. We spoke to a representative for the developer who told 22News they are 100 percent committed to completing this project in an expeditious fashion.