Mayor asks department heads to use their imaginations

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Instead of making big cuts at another round of budget hearings, Mayor Todd Strange gave department heads a chance to keep that from happening.

He asked leaders of the Montgomery Library, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the Montgomery Zoo to be creative to come up with new ways to raise money--whether by increasing fees, or holding special fundraisers.

"I think that all of us together [are] working as a way to improve life in Montgomery," says Juanita Owes, the Director of the Montgomery Library.

First up, the museum, where talks of an admission fee circulated.  It's something they've rarely done, but in tough times, directors say it may be time.

"If we have to do it, then we'll try to sell what we do inside the museum--show them that it's worth the value of a couple bucks," says Mark Johnson, the Director of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art.

Secondly, the Montgomery library, where Strange encouraged leaders to generate $100,000 dollars through fundraisers.  And finally the Montgomery Zoo.  Directors there say they have plans to increase admission for out of town visitors to help save locals a few bucks.

"The citizens of Montgomery, if they want to come to the zoo, they get a discount from $9.95...they get a two dollar discount to $7.95," says Montgomery Zoo director, Doug Goode.

Some residents don't mind the adjustments or having to pay to get into the museum.

"It's always a shock that causes complaints at first, like everything else. Like rising gas prices, people get used to it," says Montgomery resident, Rob Seip.

"I think a small admission fee would be a great idea to raise some revenue," says Vicki Ellis.

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