In an effort to affordably move forward with a plan to establish a drive-thru car tag renewal service in Maury County, the local government is considering the purchase of retro-fitted shipping containers, among other options, for the proposed site downtown.
The proposal was introduced for consideration by Maury County Commission Chairman Don Morrow and County Clerk Joey Allen during the commission'sJanuary building committee meeting.
The purchase of two 40-foot containers would cost the county approximately $90,000, while the construction of a permanent facility is estimated to cost more than $250,000 at the plot, or county-owned land at the intersection of East 6th Street and Woodland Street across from the Maury County Archives.
The use of shipping containers as a base to build homes and other structures is a growing trend. For Maury County's local government, the two containers would have a footprint of 640 square feet and rest atop a concrete pad.
“It is just a concept to save money and think outside the box and be economical,” Morrow told his fellow commissioners during the board meeting.
As the offices would be mobile, the land would not have be to permanently dedicated as a drive-thru.
“You can really get creative will a lot less money,” Allen said. “You can be creative and make them look nice and put anything you want in them. After researching them and looking at them, I think this is a good cost savings for the county.”
Other options being pursued
The committee made a motion to have Morrow move forward to investigate leasing a potential building, while continuing to investigate the purchase of the containers.
“If we use these containers, we could move them,” Morrow said. “If the county offices move, we could pull them out and use them.”
During the meeting, Commissioner Sue Stephenson recommend that the local government consider leasing a property to offer the service.
Commissioner Craig Harris recommended that the commission consider purchasing a prefabricated mobile structure currently owned by his employer Heritage Bank & Trust.
“It will be less than half, and it has a drive-thru, safe and office space — the works,” Harris said. “That is just an alternative. It can be bought cheap.”
The structure was previously moved from a location along Nashville Highway to Lawrenceburg, where it will now be replaced by a permanent building.
The county will also continue investigating the construction of a permanent facility at the site, Morrow said.
An effort to relieve traffic congestion
The construction of a drive-thru was introduced earlier this year by Morrow as an effort to expand county services and bring relief to ongoing concerns about parking congestion.
In 2020, Maury County Clerk’s Office served more than 153,000 customers, distributing approximately 60,000 tag renewals, according to data shared by the office.
A 2018 study found that of the 196 three-hour limit parking spaces located within one block of the Maury County Courthouse, nearly two-thirds were being used as long-term parking, resulting in a lack of parking availability for citizens and visitors.
In 2020, the county repaved a parking lot dedicated for county employees located behind the government’s downtown offices at the corner of East 7th Street and Woodland Street.
The newly expanded parking lot, located directly next to the proposed drive-thru site along Woodland Street, now offers some public parking and is available for public access on weekends.
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This article originally appeared on The Daily Herald: Shipping containers may house a government drive-thru in Maury County