State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted a meeting on Monday, October 6 between the Lawrence legislative delegation and Celia Blue, Registrar of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), to express concerns over the recent proposal to move the Lawrence RMV branch from its current location on Route 114 in South Lawrence to Downtown Lawrence.
Diana, who represents the Lawrence neighborhood in which the current RMV resides, says she was not included in any discussions regarding the proposed move of the state agency. In her capacity, Diana said it is her responsibility to speak up on behalf of constituents who have not had a seat at the table on this matter. She first requested a meeting with the RMV back in August.
Joining Diana in the meeting were State Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover), State Representatives Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen) and Patrick Kerwin, Legislative Aide to State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence).
The Representative, who represents portions of North Andover, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill in the Legislature, has argued the current RMV is critical to the economic vitality of businesses along Route 114.
“The proposed relocation does not take into consideration what would happen at the current site,” said Diana. “It is liable to create severe blight that would be detrimental to future economic development, hurting surrounding businesses located along the 114 corridor.”
Diana and other members of the delegation also raised concerns to the Registrar about the lack of convenience for residents to travel to a Downtown Lawrence location.
“RMV customers want free, convenient, ample parking, which the current site affords and the downtown area does not offer,” said Diana. “If other nearby RMV locations have easier, more affordable access, my constituents tell me that they will likely pay their visits elsewhere.”
During the meeting, the Registrar noted the RMV is looking to modernize its facilities and that every 10 years, they are mandated to put branch locations out for bid. They are currently reviewing the Downtown Lawrence proposal and are poised to finish that review within one month. The criteria on the RMV’s RFP (Request for Proposal) requires the branch include at least 185 parking spaces, a mandate the delegation was skeptical could be fulfilled at a Downtown Lawrence branch.
The Registrar stressed that no final decision has been made about the possible relocation.
“I am committed to, over the coming days and weeks, advocating in favor of the current Lawrence RMV branch,” said Diana. “On a matter of this nature, which will affect residents not just in my district, but throughout the Merrimack Valley, it is critical that we work together to ensure our concerns are heard loud and clear.”