What was once an attractive feature about the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in Springfield Mall has now become a victim of budget cuts, as the office trims its night-time hours and cuts staff members to meet the state budget restrictions.
Pam Goheen, DMV spokesperson, knows the impact will be felt by cutting the hours to 42.5 hours a week at the mall DMV office.
"It's a shorter work week. We do anticipate service will be slower and not as convenient in the past," she said.
Gov. Mark Warner's announcement of statewide budget cuts is becoming reality at DMV branches, effecting people's cars and livelihood.
"In order to meet the budget reductions the agency had to make sound, very difficult decisions," Goheen said.
That includes cutting two full-time positions and 13 part-time positions, according to Goheen.
Effective Nov. 1, the Springfield Mall DMV will be open Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., except Wednesdays when it will be closed completely.
East on Franconia Road from the mall, there is another DMV that is cutting back hours as well. Its hours will be Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon. That office is a block from Supervisor Dana Kauffman's (D-Lee) office on one side and a half-block from Del. Tom Bolvin's (R-43rd) office on the other. Kauffman looked at it in the terms of "niceties and necessities."
"This is probably the first visible evidence of what will certainly be, by the first of the year, a real case of deciding what are niceties and what are necessities. In many cases, it will be an overdue challenge," he said.
Next door at the Interchange Information office, a lease was signed for another year. That office is with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Gayle Spurr, Springfield Mall marketing representative, looked at the presence of the DMV in the mall as a service addition to the shopping experience.
"They're always busy," she said, but "I don't think it's going to be a huge impact on our traffic. It's not a retail business."
Spurr was not aware of the job losses but did look to the mall's job listing at the customer-service desk and on its Web site as a short-term employment solution.
"There's a whole list of job openings at the mall. I'll go down and try to pass on some information," she said.