The $60 per year garbage fee Lauderdale County residents are supposed to pay in order to use the green boxes is tied to automobile license tags. You can't get a tag without paying the garbage fee.
At least, that's the way it is supposed to work but doesn't always. Tax Collector Stanley Shannon told supervisors Thursday there is new computer software now available that may make it work. And he says he wants to buy it.
"One of the problems that we have that this system would resolve, when someone comes in to get their tag renewed and they pull it up, there's nothing that will flash on the screen saying, 'Garbage not paid. The garbage owed,'" said Shannon.
The problem is license tags are on one software system. Garbage fees are on another.
"To find out about the garbage, we have to get into another screen while we're waiting for that one. While the customer's waiting to pay the tag, we have to go in there, take that one out, pull up another one, and see what's the status of the garbage system," explained Shannon.
The new software would tie the two together, pull up the tag information, and the screen would light up and tell the clerk the applicant can't get a car tag because his or her garbage fee hasn't been paid.
If people apply for their tag online, the system will tell them on their own screen at home they haven't paid the garbage fee, so their car tag cannot be renewed.
Shannon says the new system will make the tax collector's office more efficient and speed up the renewal process.
The system costs just under $9,000. Shannon says it would pay for itself. The supervisors plan to give him an answer at the board meeting Monday.