At Merrimack office, plenty of support for move to Nashua

MERRIMACK – Joni Warfield’s trip to the DMV office on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack was her second in a week.

Warfield, of Nashua, said she’s a fan of the state’s plan to replace the Merrimack office with one at the F.E. Everett Turnpike Exit 6 Welcome Center, especially if it means less time in line.

“It’d be a good move for me,” she said. “It just needs to be bigger. It’s ridiculous in there. They need more people in there.”

Warfield said she gave up on her first visit to the Division of Motor Vehicles last week because of long lines. It’s too early to say whether a new DMV office at Exit 6 would offer expanded services, or shorter lines, but in the long run the move is expected to be more convenient for a larger number of people in Nashua.

The plan includes eventually closing the Merrimack office by the time the state’s lease runs out in 2011 in favor of the Welcome Center location, which the state owns.

Pat Williams, a Londonderry resident, similarly is crossing his fingers in hopes the move is made.

It would be “closer, more convenient, not as cluttered,” Williams said.

“Every time I come here there’s a crowd out the door. A bigger place, that’s what I’d look for. I’m not a big fan of this place.”

Of a handful of people asked as they entered or exited the Merrimack DMV Monday afternoon, only Patti Bemis, a Mont Vernon resident, said she likes the Merrimack location since it’s easier for her to get to than Exit 6. But, she said, extending the hours of the Milford location would be even better.

“It’s a little closer for us,” Bemis said. “For us, this is better unless they increased the hours in Milford.”

Some people, like Bob Condon, of Goffstown, was somewhat split between the two locations, but favored the Nashua site if it could save the state a few bucks.

“I’d say it’s probably a wash for me,” Condon said. “I suppose if he is going to save money for the state, he should do it and if not, maybe it should be left alone.”

Even one Merrimack resident, Stephen Bennett, said a little inconvenience is fine with him if it means the state can save money.

“That’s OK. The state needs to cut back,” he said. “The governor has to make some choices, and I’d rather he spend less than spend more. It makes sense to me.”