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On-line bill payment update

Danielle Ryan

(8/5) During the August 1 Town Council meeting, Commissioners discussed a potential update to the on-line bill payment system. Cole Tabler, the Town Accountant, was present to brief the Council about the different avenues and vendors to consider.

Currently, residents of the Town are able to pay their water and sewer bills online by credit card. They can also pay their utility bills by check or cash at the Town Office. Requests by residents to refine the online bill pay in order to find a more user-friendly avenue to accommodate them have been received. Town staff was thereby tasked with looking into different options for residents to pay their bills online.

Tabler reached out to different providers weighing the advantages and disadvantages in order to find a vendor that would meet the desired criteria. The Town would like a vendor that will offer the most ease of transition for residents as well as a system that is straightforward and compatible with the current online processes and software in place.

After speaking with the local bank, Invoice Cloud (the vendor that specializes with the Town), and the current billing system for water and sewer in place, Tabler found that the current utility software vendor had the most to offer. The vendor currently in use offers the addition of a web portal at no additional cost to the Town, and will allow residents to pay utilities such as water, sewer and trash online by credit card. Residentsí accounts will also be automatically updated and they will be able to view their payment history, which is doubly beneficial for the Town as they will no longer need to enter all transactions manually, because the system will be updated automatically every time a resident pays their bill.

The fee structure for this system would be $3.95 or 2% of the customerís balance. Residents will also be able to use bank check elimination, which will be a $.25 cost per transaction to the Town. These fees were the lowest of all the different vendors researched.

Overall, Tabler stated that there really are no disadvantages that he could see with this option. The system offers a more convenient way to pay bills for residents, it is less expensive than the current system and the vendor has been incredibly easy to work with. Tabler will be looking into the question of refunding and any possibility of an increase in fees in the future.

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