The Union County dog warden has been advised to investigate the possibility of tying into a local database so the county can sell dog licenses online while retaining the record of purchases.

The Union County dog warden has been advised to investigate the possibility of tying into a local database so the county can sell dog licenses online while retaining the record of purchases.

Mary Beth Hall told the Union County commissioners on July 20 that she looked into a Web-based computer program with the Marion Wade Center as a means of allowing residents to purchase dog licenses online.

The data collection service is willing to market the dog licenses and it would not cost the county to hire the company, but the company assesses a fee for every dog license issued.

"The Ohio State University lets them collect a $2 service fee," she said.

The problems with the service are the county still pays the cost of sending out the dog tags with money coming out of Hall's budget and the information about license holders would not be retained by the county.

Neighboring Franklin County has its own service, she said, but it is more expensive.

She said 104,000 dog licenses are sold in Franklin County, with 40,000 sold online.

After hearing her report, Commissioner Tom McCarthy recommended she tie into a county database. By using the firm, he said, she may increase the revenue, but she would not save any work.

He said there is something wrong with telling residents that the automated system is more efficient when it costs more.

McCarthy asked about setting the system up under eBay and using the PayPal system, but Hall said she was advised by auditors that the system it is not secure.

McCarthy suggested she get more information about online options.

"I think it is a good idea," he said and asked Hall to get more information and report back on July 27.

Commissioner Gary Lee agreed that it is the direction they need to take at some point, but Hall said she is up against an Aug. 31 deadline.

"If you tie into the data support downstairs, the database, it's worth doing," McCarthy said.

McCarthy suggested Hall talk with the auditor's office or treasurer's office to see if they have the necessary equipment.

Hall conducted a survey on dog license fees in all 88 counties of Ohio. She said the average is $13 per county with several increasing their rates next year. The current fee in Union County is $12.

Commissioner Charles Hall said Clark County has a fee of $16 which will be increased to $20 this year.

If the local fee was increased $2 for the Web-based marketing program the price would climb to $14.

Charles Hall said Delaware County only charges $10, while Hardin County has a fee of $14 which is going to increase to $16.

The dog warden asked about raising dog license fees and Lee said she should come back with the whole package and conduct all of the business under one resolution.

"We are going to have to raise them, I think, to cover some of the expenses we've already got," said Charles Hall.