Business is picking up at Erie County Auto Bureaus. And it's only going to get busier, according to County Clerk Michael Kearns.
He says, because of the state's 8-year cycle, license renewals are going to increase 300%, from 2017 to 2018. To reduce wait times, Kearns wants to hire 11 new full-time employees. He says, his proposal will not create any added expense for taxpayers.
"We believe that we will be able to keep taxes low. If it was not for the auto bureaus, taxes would rise in Erie County. And that is a fact. We are the only department that is making money, the only revenue generator, for the County of Erie," Kearns said.
If the County Legislature approves the hiring, he says, the Northtown Auto Bureau will begin offering Saturday hours to take pressure off of the Cheektowaga Auto Bureau.
"The workers are working very hard out there, and diligently. However, the numbers are just too much for one site to handle on a Saturday. Especially when you add in 15% of the people are coming in from other counties to do their business. It's good for us, from a revenue stand point. And we encourage that. We want as much revenue as possible. However, it's definitely putting a strain on our Saturdays at Cheektowaga," Kearns said.
The Clerk's Office, he says, has not hired new full-time workers in 10 years and the increase in business is expected to continue through 2022.