The Metro health board last week renewed its contract with Systech International, a contractor that has carried out the city’s auto-emissions testing since 2007.
Under the contract extension, which would run from 2012 through 2017, Metro would receive a larger portion of the $9 fee Davidson County’s registered drivers pay to have their vehicles inspected. Currently, Metro receives $3.50. The renegotiated contract would give Metro $4 from each $9 fee.
The contract is set to go before the Metro Council for final approval at a future meeting.
Health department officials say the additional 50 cents would allow the city to expand its auto-emissions testing services. They would include: expanding Saturday hours at the Antioch auto-emissions testing station; opening an additional Saturday station on Dickerson Road in East Nashville; and expanding the hours of operation for the city’s four mobile test vans.
“It basically involves opening more stations and leaving some open longer in lieu of Metro receiving that 50 cents,” said Fred Huggins, director of the department’s vehicle and emissions testing program.
The health department is also looking into a new system that would combine some driver services, allowing drivers to get their registration documentation and vehicle stickers at the same place where they have their vehicles inspected. Right now, drivers must go to the Davidson County Clerk’s Office in MetroCenter or one of its satellite locations.
“It’s something that we’re working on,” Huggins said. “Honestly, we may not be able to make it happen. We’re going to be experimenting with it and seeing just how much extra time it takes in the lanes. If it slows things down in the lanes too much and it makes them back up too badly, then we won’t be able to do it.”