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River Heights OK’s paying utility bills with credit cards

September 30th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Megan Allen

RIVER HEIGHTS–At a meeting Tuesday night, the River Heights City Council decided that benefits to residents to be allowed to pay bills with a credit card outweigh the cost to the city.

Shelia Lind, city recorder, said she talked to city officials in Providence who highly recommended upgrading the payment system to accept cards. “Using cards helps people be better at keeping up with their bills,” she said. “It will also mean dealing with fewer bounced checks.”

Glen Murdoch, a representative from Zions Bank, attended the meeting to talk about the process and answer any questions.

“You want to provide as many ways for your clientele to pay you as possible,” he said. “Our goal is to provide a cost-effective way to provide this convenience to your citizens.”

Murdoch and the council discussed the fees associated with card payments and the different options that are available. Murdoch said he recommends working with Zions Bank because they usually have the lowest fees and do not require customers to deal with contracts.

Lind, along with councilmen Rob Gines and Doug Clausen, are going to research costs with other banks in Cache Valley, and a final decision will be reached at the next meeting.

Mayor Bill Baker reported on his experience attending the Utah League of Cities and Towns conference. “Next year, I recommend as many of us attend as possible,” he said. “There are too many things going on at once that one person can’t cover it all.”

Overall, Baker said the conference was very useful and enlightening. “There are so many assets available to small cities that we should be using more and more,” he said.

Baker said he got information about road maintenance, town communication, lighting and money management.

Kathryn Hadfield, Community Affairs chair for the council. again thanked Rich Okelberry for his work on the Apple Days celebration. “We are already starting to work on next year’s celebration,” she said, “so start looking around your neighborhoods for people willing to volunteer their time and effort.”

The next town event will be the Christmas tree lighting Monday, Dec. 6, she said.

Hadfield also said that with Apple Days over, the city is going to get back to working on the emergency preparedness plans.

Kent Parker is the Public Works supervisor for River Heights. In his report, he talked about the restrooms in the park and the extreme vandalism that is happening almost nightly.

“I go in and clean them every morning,” he said, “and each time I find more and more damage.” The sinks and toilets have been pulled on, nearly to the point of coming unattached, he said.

“I think we need to close them earlier in the evening and open them later in the day,” he said. “Providence did that when it happened to them, and it helped a little bit.”

One of the requisitions the council approved Tuesday evening will pay for new DVR security cameras to be placed at the restrooms in an attempt to stop the vandalism.


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