Last updated: May 01. 2014 6:43PM - 536 Views
By William Laney wlaney@civitasmedia.com

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LIMA — The Allen County Treasurer’s Office launched a new website this week with new ways to pay real estate and county sewer bills and says the website is working well so far.

Treasurer Rachael Gilroy touted this week the functions of the website and “the improved methods of operation” including paying sewer bills and real estate taxes by credit card in addition to paying over the telephone or at the Treasurer’s Office.

“With this new website we are very happy to fill a need that the Sanitary Engineer’s Office and their customers have asked for which is, as of Monday, we are able to take credit card payment for sewer bills,” Gilroy told the Allen County commissioners Thursday during their meeting. “This is something the sanitary engineer as well as many customers each month as they come in said they wanted. They now have an online option and they can enter that payment as late as 11 p.m. and will still receive credit without late charges.”

She explained customers can make sewer bill payments by calling 866-636-3868, and real estate taxes by calling 866-739-0469, which are a dedicated line for payments, or they can continue to come in and pay in person.

She said the website is now managed by the county’s Information Technology Department “which has greatly reduced the cost from the prior website” and is linked to the Auditor’s Office website.

Nearly a week in operation, Gilroy said the system “has worked very well so far. There are a couple of kinks that need to be worked out to make sure the process works smoothly when we get busier, but we anticipate no major issues and things seem to be working as planned right now.”

County IT personnel worked the past year on creating the new website, while county officials worked on negotiating a contract with a new credit card provider to handle the payments. Gilroy noted there is a “modest convenience fee charged by the credit card vendor for this service, but the Treasurer’s Office and the Allen County Sanitary Sewer District do not charge or receive any portion of the convenience fee.”

Sanitary Engineer Steve Kayatin and Billing Accounts Clerk Tammy Ammon agree the additional payment option should help lower the number of delinquent accounts and should provide a benefit to people who tend to pay at the latest possible moment. Gilroy said this should save customers money because they often will take a cash advance on their credit card to pay a bill and now it will appear as a charge.

“I think as people become aware of this option then I think the use will increase and the trend go up,” Gilroy said.

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