Monday, Oct. 14, the Hesston City Council moved to make paying utility bills easier for residents.
In an unanimous vote, the city will move forward toward on-line bill payment for utilities.
“Jason Thrasher and Rhonda Prieb have been looking at this for a couple years. One of the first concerns is it would not integrate properly with our software. We’ve been working with a company – Tyler Technologies – and it is in their code,” said City Administrator John Carder.
Carder said the cost of the program is $800.
“We also looked at payments for the court, and that was an additional $1,200 and they [Thrasher and Prieb] didn’t feel like they used it enough,” said Carder.
Carder said there will be a minimal fee for on-line payments.
“It’s a fraction for people to pay online. It is a $1.25 fee to Tyler and we have a fixed annual fee of $708,” said Carder.
Thrasher said it has been a frequent request by residents.
“We’ve had people ask when we are going to get online bill pay. We’ll occasionally get a note about joining the 21st century,” said Thrasher.
Thrasher said for residents who do not want to pay their bills online, they still have account access.
“If you don’t want to pay online, you can look at your billing history, which is a neat feature. Or you could keep your credit card information and pay that way,” said Thrasher.
Councilman John Reimer wanted to clarify the fee for residents.
“It’s $1.25 per transaction. That’s where they make their profit,” he said.
Councilman Jason Jones said he appreciated the City was not locked into the contract for online bill pay access.
“I like that this is an open contract and 60-days notice,” he said.
Thrasher said city staff will appreciate the upgrade.
“It will be a time-saver,” he said.
Jones commented the fees and charge are not significant.
“This is made by the company that is already integrated with what we currently have. That’s the major thing. This won’t be a hassle and for $59 per month,” said Thrasher.
Carder said the City already pays a small fee for non-cash or check payments.
“We pay a percentage on debit cards and credit. For debit it is $.50 per transaction. This isn’t bad,” he said.