County making changes to re-open license offices

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County’s staff is doing what is necessary to maintain services to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including making changes to be able to re-open license offices.

The Inverness and Pelham license offices closed March 23, while the Columbiana office has been open by appointment only.

Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins told the Shelby County Commission at its meeting on Monday, April 13, that modifications to the offices include the installation of glass and microphones to protect clerks and customers from coming into contact with each other.

“This is a way to think outside the box,” Scroggins said. “Operations will change…they’ll change forever after this.”

Appointments at the Columbiana office can be set up by calling (205) 670-6824 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Residents are encouraged to use online services during this time. Most vehicle and boat renewals can be done online and mailed to homes.

Visit License.shelbyal.com for online renewals, or email tagrenewal@shelbyal.com for more information or questions.

All other county operations are “up and going,” Scroggins said.

“We are fully open for business; it just looks a little different,” he said.

Officials continue to monitor revenues closely, Scroggins said and added that the county’s lodging tax had been especially impacted during the pandemic.

In other business, Scroggins gave a report on the annual free day at the Shelby County Landfill on March 28.

The free day was busy as usual, but the landfill saw record visits for a weekday and weekend more recently. So many vehicles were trying to get in that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office helped with traffic control.

The Commission also approved a resolution for the ordering of vehicles and related equipment for the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff John Samaniego transferred $300,000 from his department’s discretionary funds to the county for the order, and the county contributed $600,000 for a total of $900,000 in Fiscal Year 2021.

“We’re always looking for a bargain, and cars are our lifeblood,” Samaniego said.