Roanoke looking into letting utility customers pay online

The Roanoke Town Council learned at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3, that Clerk-Treasurer JoAnne Kirchner is looking into a service that would enable the town’s utility customers to pay their bills online.

Kirchner said that she had been researching online payment services for nine to 10 months. After evaluating six services, she said one called Invoice Cloud stood out to her as the best fit for the town. If the town opts to use the service, it would cost $50 to $75 a month, which Kirchner felt was a good price. The service is also compatible with the town’s software, Keystone, which Kirchner said was another mark in its favor.
In addition to giving customers a way to pay their bills online, Kirchner said customers would be able to see a log of their past activity and access reports.

Kirchner explained that customers would have to pay fees to use the service. Credit card payments, she noted, would carry a $2.95 fee, while check and automated clearinghouse payments would carry a $1.95 fee.

Kirchner expressed confidence that there was interest in the community for an online payment service. At present, 40 percent of the town’s utility customers pay their bills online, she said, doing so through their banking institutions, many of which also assess fees.

Kirchner said that she and Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Kay Moore would be participating in a webinar in November to learn more about the service. If council would opt to move forward with it, the service would take two to three months to set up, she said.

Using the service, Kirchner added, would not be mandatory. If customers still wanted to pay their bills in person at town hall, or send payments in the mail, they would be able to do so, she noted.

In other business:

– Superintendent of Operations Phil Hibbert presented council a change order for the town’s sanitary sewer in-lining project. The project’s contractor, Insituform Technologies, had been able to reduce the cost of the project by $9,071, said Hibbert. The board approved the change order.

– Hibbert also reported that the town had had a positive meeting with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management about the town’s lagoon No. 2 at the wastewater treatment plant. The next step, he said, would be a meeting in Indianapolis.