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Anaconda residents upset over losing MVD office

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Posted at 1:28 PM, Jan 13, 2022

ANACONDA — Residents in Anaconda will soon have to travel to Butte, Philipsburg, or another city in order to get a driver’s license or photo ID.

“I don’t want them to close it. I have to drive and sometimes you can’t make it to Butte — I love Butte, don’t get me wrong — I just think we should leave it here for the old people,” said Anaconda resident Marge Liedle.

The state recently announced the Anaconda MVD office will close on Jan. 28.

Montana State Sen. Mark Sweeney said he was upset to learn about such an important issue over social media.

“It came as a surprise to me and I don’t like surprises, especially ones that have pretty far-reaching effects to my constituents,” said Sweeney.

Some residents enjoying lunch at the Metcalf Senior Center said they oppose the idea of moving the MVD office out of Anaconda.

“It belongs in Anaconda; we have people here. We should take care of our own. It should be here,” said Cait Francisco.

Angela Blaz of Anaconda added, “we’re tired of hearing, ‘we don’t have anything,’ and then when we do have something, they take it away like this.”

Sweeney said the residents need the convenience of having a local office.

“So it really creates a hardship on senior citizens of my community and it’s a low-income community,” said the District 39 Senator.

Sweeney added he not only wants to see the office remain in Anaconda, he’d also like to see it better staffed so it can provide better service to the community.

“We got a high percentage of Anaconda go to Butte and use that office anyway. Well, I’m sure the office is inadequately staffed to begin with, and forcing people to go to Butte because, you know, their inability to get appointments,” said Sweeney.

The last day for service at the Anaconda office is Jan. 21.