Shelter funding solution could come from data fee increase

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anyone within Chilton County who requires an electronic transaction for things like a marriage license, pistol permit or a deed, might pay 25 cents more in the near future.

The Chilton County Commission voted Monday during a public hearing to discuss increasing funds for the Chilton County Humane Society to contact the local legislative delegation and ask them to pass a local bill increasing the data processing fee from $5 to $5.25 to meet obligations in funding for animal care.

Although state Rep. Kurt Wallace was not able to attend Monday night’s meeting, he said in a telephone interview Tuesday he was pretty sure the bill would pass in Montgomery to increase the fee by a quarter.

“This is a workable solution and it is not a whole lot of money for anyone,” Wallace said.

Wallace said after he receives the resolution from the commission, he will take the resolution to Montgomery along with state Sen. Cam Ward and will hopefully be passed within the next couple of weeks.

“Local bills are not typically hard to pass in Montgomery,” Wallace said. “I think the average citizen doesn’t mind having this increase because it is not a lot of money and it will benefit the humane society. The money will not break anyone’s bank.”

Commissioner Bobby Agee organized the public hearing to hear input from local residents on various ways to come up with additional revenue for the humane society.

“Whatever we decide to do will more than likely not be a quick fix but I think coming up with a workable solution right now is a step in the right direction,” Agee said.

Agee explained to those in the audience that members of the commission had worked to come up with different ways to increase funds and acknowledged Commission Chairman Allen Caton for coming up with the idea to increase the data processing fee.

“Caton did some research and came up with the idea,” Agee said. “If we charged 25 cents more we could generate roughly $23,000 more a year for the humane society.”

Chilton County Humane Society director Scott Missildine told commissioners the money generated from the processing fee would help the humane society tremendously.

“I appreciate the commission trying to work with us to help generate more money,” Missildine said. “Every little bit helps.”