BELTON — The Killeen area has outgrown its vehicle registration office.
“In 2018, my Killeen office saw over 120,000 citizens for vehicle registration,” said Bell County Tax Assessor-Collector Shay Luedeke, who oversees vehicle registrations. “There are currently many times throughout the month where the waiting room is outside in the elements as our lobby is too full.”
Because of the growing demand for the office — located at 307 Priest Drive in Killeen — the Bell County Commissioners Court is considering renovating a nearby building to house vehicle registrations.
The commissioners — in a 4-0 decision on Monday, with Commissioner John Driver absent — approved a contract with Temple-based Neal Architectural Group. The agreement will not exceed $38,000.
Commissioner Bobby Whitson said the Temple firm will first determine if the former Texas Department of Public Safety driver’s license building, 302 Priest Drive, is suitable for a renovation.
That part will cost $3,800, and is included in the approved contract.
“We may not get past that point,” Whitson said. “What they’re going to do at that point is look and see if that building is viable for moving the vehicle registration to that. If it is, they’ll continue on and we’ll move to construction plans and move forward.”
The building is located in a floodplain. Because of that, the city of Killeen may require the county to significantly change the building.
“Some of the requirements that the city of Killeen put on us to alter that structure may be onerous,” Whitson said. “We might not be able to use that structure for what we’re wanting to.”
If the analysis of the building shows that it cannot be renovated, Whitson said the Commissioners Court will regroup and rethink the planned renovation of the Killeen vehicle registration office.
“The new space across the street, the old DPS Driver’s License office, provides additional space for both a waiting area and more full-service windows for the future growth of West Bell County,” Luedeke said of the proposed renovations. “I am also proposing a drive-through window for registration renewals and handicap placards at the new redesigned Killeen office.”
Beside the current Killeen office, there are three other full-service locations where residents can renew their vehicle registration in person:
- The Bell County Annex at 205 E. Central Ave. in Temple.
- The Bell County Annex at 550 E. Second Ave. in Belton.
- The Fort Hood Office at the Visitor Control Center near the Main Gate at Fort Hood.