Kiosks allow county services closer to home

Published 1:31 pm Monday, October 5, 2015

Members of the County Commission as well as representatives of Sweet Water Bank were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the kiosk in the Demopolis Branch of the Sweet Water Branch. Pictured left to right: Caitlyn Bamarger, Demopolis Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Coplin, Jacob Kerby, Kenny Freeman, Marengo County Probate Judge Laurie Hall, District 2 Commissioner Dan England, Marengo County Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley, Mike Grayson, and Olen Kerby.

Members of the County Commission as well as representatives of Sweet Water Bank were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the kiosk in the Demopolis Branch of the Sweet Water Branch. Pictured left to right: Caitlyn Bamarger, Demopolis Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Coplin, Jacob Kerby, Kenny Freeman, Marengo County Probate Judge Laurie Hall, District 2 Commissioner Dan England, Marengo County Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley, Mike Grayson, and Olen Kerby.

Residents of the north and south ends of the county will be able to enjoy somewhat of a traveling reprieve as the Marengo County Commission unveiled brand new kiosks Thursday in a ribbon cutting ceremony. These kiosks will allow residents to pay property taxes and renew vehicle tags at the Sweet Water State Bank locations in Demopolis and Sweet Water.
Using a personal Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, residents can avoid the long lines and travel associated with paying the property tax and tag renewals in Linden by using the stations developed by “Breeze,” a company based in Birmingham founded by Will Yarbrough who was on hand for the event.
“The kiosk is going to bring up whatever record is associated with your personal information,” Yarbrough said.
According to Probate Judge Laurie Hall, the kiosks provide an affordable solution to multiple requests of building a courthouse annex in the Demopolis area as well as requests for an annex on the south end of the county. With recent cuts in state funding, the task would be nearly impossible and with the new kiosks a new building would be unnecessary for property taxes and tag renewals.
“It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to drive from the northern most part of the county and even further from the southern most part to Linden,” said Hall. “Once you get there, you have a 30 minute to hour wait in line.”
Hall mentioned that the new kiosks save customers almost $15 per transaction when cost of travel is factored in to the overall price as well as a service charge for using the credit or debit card.
“I feel it was a need,” said Marengo County Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley. “I’ve had customers come in and talk about how they had to pay someone to bring them to Linden. This will benefit everyone on the north and south ends of the county.”
The kiosks cost $89 dollars a month to operate and will help add convenience to the stressful process of tag renewal and property tax payment.
Breeze also helped with the redesign of www.marengocountyal.com and has instituted a “Marengo County” app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, which launched today during this morning’s ceremony.