MOSCOW, IDApril 18, 2022—Latah County has taken the first step in purchasing the property located at 1313 Blaine St. in Moscow. The Latah County Commissioners have entered into a purchase and sale agreement for the 3,633-square-foot building on the corner of Blaine St. and White Ave., formerly the Wells Fargo bank. The building purchase is a strategic investment in Latah County, its departments, and the services it provides to the community. As the population grows in the County, the need for the services it provides – and the people who provide them – also increases. At Monday’s meeting Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar said, “While we are still in the process of making final decisions on the building configuration, the County Commissioners believes this would be the perfect location to relocate the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Licensing.”

In 2015, the County purchased the Annex building located at 200 S. Almon which now houses the DMV and Licensing offices. While it was a smart investment that released the County from spending $62,000 a year on leased space, the Annex’s location on a one-way street with limited parking is beginning to present limitations for County employees and customers. Around 140 vehicle trips are made to the DMV alone each day, making ease of access a priority. Lamar said, “the building we are purchasing would streamline and improve DMV and licensing services.”

In addition to relocating DMV and Licensing, Latah County is looking at office space configuration and efficiencies of other County offices serving the public. A small renovation is planned to accommodate three to four additional offices, freeing up more space at the County Courthouse and Annex building. Many Latah County departments have extremely limited space, with too many employees in too small of spaces, preventing them from adding much-needed staff to serve the public efficiently.

“Purchasing this building is an important first step toward addressing capital needs at the County,” said Lamar. “To serve the public well, be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and remain fiscally solvent, we have to keep up with the pace of expanding services and needs by making strategic investments.”

With funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act being applied to fund many of the County’s government services, including government administration, staff, and public safety personnel, this property acquisition will be funded through County capital funds and will not impact citizens’ property taxes or require a bond. The final sale is contingent on inspection, appraisal, and fund appropriation to the satisfaction of the Commissioners. If finalized, the location is planned to open in late summer or early fall of 2022. Latah County will update the public as the sale and purchase progresses.