TRCC will run the Poplar Bluff license bureau

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Three Rivers Community College has been awarded a one year contract to operate the license bureau in Poplar Bluff.

President Dr. Devin Stephenson says Three Rivers is the only community college in the country that will operate a license bureau.

He says he think this will make a big dent in next year's budget crunch.

"It makes it really difficult simply because we have an agreement that we can't enhance our revenue streams through tuition," Stephenson said.

He says having tuition frozen the past three years has put the college in a bind.

He says tuition increases are usually the easiest way to generate revenue, but an agreement with Governor Jay Nixon won't allow the college to do so.

So he says the college had to think of new ways to make money, and operating the license bureau in Poplar Bluff was a no brainer.

"How we reduce costs, how we avoid costs, one of the best ways to do it is to find innovative revenue streams, and the license bureau makes up that opportunity for us to be able to do that," he said.

And he says the college may not stop with the license bureau.

With a nearly $1 million budget deficit projected for next year, Stephenson says the college has to keep pursuing business opportunities.

"This is the new normal. We do not see the revenue streams as they have been in the past the same. We do not believe this money will come back," he said.

Stephenson projects that the license bureau will bring about $100,000 a year in new revenue to the college.

While he says all new projects are done with the students at the forefront of his mind, he knows money has to be made or programs will be cut.

"We're trying to keep this institution strong, and we do that by looking at the bottom line. This is a business," he said.

Stephenson says he hopes to have the license bureau transferred to the college by September.

The bureau will also change locations and be housed in the old Pear Tree in building, which was donated to the college last year.

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