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Spring Hope license plate agency to open in early April

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Southern Nash County’s newest license plate agency is tentatively scheduled to open April 9, pending approval from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. The Spring Hope Area Chamber of Commerce is contracted to operate the agency. Its new manager, Timothy Johnson, and employees began training Monday and will continue for the next three weeks. Trainers also will be on hand during the agency’s first full week of operation. “We’re learning that there’s a whole lot more to what we have to do in order to own and drive our cars away,” Johnson said. “It’s challenging work, but I’m looking forward to helping make the LPA a success.” Johnson took on the role as manager after resigning as Bailey town administrator in January. He said his experience in Spring Hope so far has been great. “I’ve enjoyed working with the chamber members so far, especially the executive board getting the LPA. It’s a new type of adventure,” Johnson said.

In the coming weeks, the license plate agency will add phones, computers and the remaining equipment to complete the Ash Street building. Johnson said the agency will be much more convenient for motorists in southern Nash and surrounding counties. “There are people in neighboring counties who have to drive a great distance to get to an LPA,” he said. “Or they are in such a rural area that they don’t have good internet service and they can’t do their services that they normally could online, so they’ll be able to come to a local office.” Allen Barbee, president of the Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce, said he is excited that things are finally coming together. “So far everything seems to be going on schedule, even though it’s a tight schedule. I’m encouraged by it,” Barbee said. “Tim has been fantastic. His knowledge level of everything concerning state government, federal regulations and his background with telephone companies has already been invaluable. We were very fortunate and lucky to get him.” The license plate agency will be open from Monday through Friday starting April 9 and is located at 123 S. Ash St.