Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Good News for Keokuk Drivers License Bureau


Lee County Treasurer Chris Spann now has a whole new outlook on the dreaded "Friday the 13th."

"When I found out on Friday, it was Friday the 13th, and I said, 'I will never think Friday the 13th is unlucky again,' because I was so excited."

Spann was excited because the Iowa Department of Transportation told her it would not charge the county to restore the drivers license bureau to the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk.

She said the county faced a roughly $9,000 fee for restoring a dedicated Internet connection between Lee County and the IDOT mainframe.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Fedler said the county was ready to pay to reopen the bureau, so this is good news.

"Now that the state said it will incur no cost to the county, it was some pleasant news because every few thousand helps," said Fedler.

Spann said she will also be able to calculate vehicle registration fees and accept property tax payments in Keokuk.  She said this is great news for residents of south Lee County, who have been forced to drive at least 20 miles to get their licenses for the last few years.

"I'm so excited," said Spann.  "It should help the community in south Lee County tremendously."

The South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk

This has been a top priority for Spann, who was sworn in as Treasurer on Jan. 2.  She campaigned on reopening the bureau, which was closed as part of a departmental reorganization in 2011.

Spann said the Keokuk bureau should be open by the end of April.  She said it will be open Wednesdays and Fridays while the Fort Madison office will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

And the Lee County Treasurer's Office is not the only office set to relocate.

Recorder Nancy Booten will close her office in Keokuk on Monday, Feb. 23 so most of the contents can be moved to Fort Madison, which will become her headquarters.

She said once the move is completed, her office will be open five days each week in Fort Madison and Tuesdays and Thursdays in Keokuk.

Booten has said her office works better when it is able to share resources with the Lee County Auditor's Office, which is headquartered in Fort Madison.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.