Electronic payments approved

Published 9:37 pm Friday, February 12, 2010

WINDSOR – Those wishing to make payments to the town of Windsor will soon be able to do so with credit and debit cards.

Thursday morning, the Windsor Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal by Town Administrator Allen Castelloe to move forward with a plan to accept electronic payments.

Castelloe said he had received information from Official Payment Corporation, a group used by the Bertie County Tax Office, which would allow customers of the Windsor utility system to pay with all major credit cards and E-checks.

“It will not cost the town at all and they will take the payments and each day they will send us a report and make a direct deposit into the town’s account,” Castelloe said.

The town administrator said the company would accept the information over a website and would also take payments over the telephone if customers wished to use the service.

Customers who use the service will pay a transaction fee of up to $5.95 but that is the only money made by the company taking the payment. The town would receive the full amount owed.

Castelloe further stated that he had done research about using the current staff and the town’s bank and listed costs for the town, including a monthly fee and a transaction surcharge.

“Our staff is limited in time now because they have so much they’re asked to do,” Castelloe said. “I don’t feel it’s right to add more to them.”

“I’m not in favor of the town doing it if it’s going to cost us anything,” said Commissioner Bob Brown. “We’ve been doing it this way for a long time and I can’t see spending money to take credit cards.”

Castelloe explained only the second option would cost the town and that a decision to use Official Payments Corporation would not.

“People have wanted us to provide this service for a while,” Castelloe said.

Mayor Pro-Tempore Hoyt Cooper said he agreed.

“I’ve heard a lot of complaints that we don’t provide it,” Cooper said. “Stamps are so high, people don’t want to mail it in. Gas is so high, they don’t want to drive. For some people, they would rather pay the fee.”

Commissioner Collins Cooper made the motion to enter into a contract with the company with Hoyt Cooper offering a second.