Twin City License Office

Twin City License Office

After 45 years, the Twin City Area Chamber of Commerce was notified last week it had lost the contract to operate the Twin City License Office, 114 E. Main St., in Festus.

The chamber is appealing the decision.

The chamber has managed the office for the Missouri Department of Revenue since 1973 and most recently was renewed by the department, through its normal bidding process, in 2014.

The new manager chosen by DOR and the Missouri Office of Administration is York Management Group, which in December snatched up contracts to operate the license offices in Ferguson and Pacific, as well as outstate in Eldon and Bolivar.

A written statement from the Department of Revenue said the Twin City contract was awarded through a competitive bid process.

“An appeal has been submitted,” chamber president Pam LaPlant said Tuesday. “We are working with our state legislators.”

State Sen. Paul Wieland of Imperial, whose 22nd District includes much of Festus and Crystal City, said today (Feb. 13) that local legislators were meeting with the Department of Revenue this afternoon to discuss the contract.

Bidding for the Twin City office contract closed Oct. 17. The chamber’s contract was set to expire on Dec. 28, but the chamber obtained an extension to operate the office through Feb. 27.

The chamber was notified Feb. 9 that it had lost the contract.

The Leader left a message today for Angela Gualdoni, a representative of York Management Group, but she indicated in a text message she was not available for comment.

LaPlant said the Department of Revenue’s decision was “disappointing” and she noted that revenue from the operation of the license office has been used to support the community to great effect over the years.

“It (the license office) is the main source of our nonprofit chamber’s income,” LaPlant said. “The proceeds fund local scholarships and festivals, and support food pantries, schools, Little League, playground equipment, Festus and Crystal City park projects, the Quad City Senior Citizen Center, the YMCA and the Red Cross, among other efforts.”

The chamber also holds the three-day long Twin City Days Festival and a Christmas parade every year.

LaPlant also pointed out that the license office has seven to eight employees, whose jobs are at risk.

Chamber administrator Claudia Kirn could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The most recent statistics on the Department of Revenue’s website are for the year of July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and show that the Twin City License Office completed 67,975 transactions with $228,606 in total processing fees.

A license office has been located in Festus reportedly for 50 years.