News Column

Jay board votes to allow customers to use credit cards

February 25, 2014

By Donna Perry, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine



Feb. 25--JAY -- Selectpersons voted 3-2 Monday to go with AndroPay, a service offered by Androscoggin Bank that allows taxpayers to use credit cards to pay for town services.

Board Vice Chairman Justin Merrill and Tim DeMillo opposed the move, while Chairman Steve McCourt, Selectmen Pearl Cook and Tom Goding voted in favor.

The board voted 4-1 on Feb. 10 to allow the Town Office staff to decide what credit card service option they would like to work with between AndroPay and InforME. Merrill also opposed that vote.

Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere told the board Monday that the staff wanted to go with InforME with an interface for Trio, the town's accounting software program. The cost to the town would be $750 for the initial setup fee and $100 a year after that.

At the last meeting, the board decided to go with the service that was not going to cost the town money, Merrill said.

McCourt said the board left it up to the staff.

Merrill disagreed. He said they were going to look at the one that would cost the town the least amount of money.

It is already going to take extra work, which is going to cost money, Merrill said.

The clerks will have to enter a credit card number twice without having an interface available that would allow them to enter the information once, said LaFreniere, who was not at the Feb. 10 meeting. Then they would have to pull it over to another section of the program, LaFreniere added.

DeMillo said Merrill was correct; that was the discussion.

Financial Director Lisa Bryant said if the town wants to start with something, they could start with InforME without an interface or swipe machines and it would not cost the town money.

"To me, it makes more sense to go with InforME," Goding said. If the office gets a lot of action, they can look at paying for an interface, he said.

AndroPay is working on an interface option, Bryant said.

AndroPay would give the town swipe machines for the cards and waive the $65 fee for each machine, due to the town being a good customer, Bryant said previously.

There would be more options available with AndroPay, and residents could pay for some town services online, LaFreniere said. It is not compatible with Trio, she said.

With InforME, customers would need to come to the Town Office, she said.

The cost to the customer with AndroPay would be if paying under $40 from a bank account is $1. If the customer is paying more than $40 and using a card, it would cost 2.95 percent. If the customer uses a Visa debit card, there would be a flat fee of $3.95.

The customer would absorb the fees, LaFreniere said.

The AndroPay website would be a link on the town's website and can be customized with prominent fee notices, instructions and more.

If customers pay online, they can only pay for real estate and personal property/sewer taxes. They cannot pay for registration of cars, dogs, vital records or other services, according to information provided on Feb. 10.

Resident Al Landry said he did not want to pay through his tax bill for a credit card service that he would not use. He suggested that if the town went with InforME, that the town charge an additional fee so that the person using the card would pay to cover the town's cost to provide the service.

The board opted to go with AndroPay at no cost to the town.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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Source: Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME)


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