RADCLIFF, Ky. (WDRB) -- The mayor of Radcliff is trying to keep the state from closing the driver's licensing office in his town.
The shift to Real IDs in Kentucky requires driver's licenses to be renewed every eight years instead of four. As a result, the Administrative Office of the Courts said smaller branches of the circuit court clerk's office will see less traffic.
Radcliif, Corbin and Berea are all on the cut list, slated to close June 28. Mayors of all three communities received notice in a letter this week.
"Along with many other state government agencies, the AOC continues to look for ways to reduce costs and operate more efficiently," AOC Director Laurie Dudgeon wrote.
In Hardin County, the closure would likely mean longer wait times at the main clerk's office in Elizabethtown on everything from licensing to civil court and arraignments. This is a scenario that Radcliff has grown familiar with as the Hardin County clerk, a separate office from the circuit court clerk, closed its satellite facility in Radcliff in December.
"It's devastating in our community," Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall said. "Our size — you look at the places around us that it serves, we're probably about 44,000."
Duvall said the clerk's office in Radcliff serves customers from West Point to Fort Knox and besides drivers licensing handles small claims, evictions, civil court and some Hardin County jail arraignments. There was no shortage of customers Friday afternoon at the Radcliff location, and they were not happy about the idea of driving to Elizabethown for service.
"If I have to go all the way to E-town, I'm missing at least half a day," Ron Leonard said.
Leonard renewed his license in Radcliff in about 15 minutes before heading back to work on post at Fort Knox
"We got to go all the way to E-town to do what we got to do," said Angela Keiffer, another visitor to circuit clerk's office. "No, I don't like it."
Duvall is appealing the closure by offering the AOC to continue in its location on the second floor of the Radcliff police station for free. He said it's about $50,00 in savings.
"To keep that services open and to keep them here and functioning for our citizens, we were willing to offer it to them for free." Duvall said. "It's that important."
The effort even has the support of the circuit clerk herself.
"It does a great service for our county, and if it can stay open, I think that's what needs to be done," Hardin County Circuit Court Clerk Loretta Crady said.
Ultimately, John Minton, the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, has the final say on this issue. The Administrative Office of the Courts said Friday that it's considering Duvall's offer.
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