4 January, 2010
Finance Director Christine May; along with Finance Clerk Amy Lozier and IT Technician Justin LaBenne; begin exploring options with the City's current finance software vendor to add features to email utility bills and provide the ability to lookup utility bills and pay online.
Emailing Utility Bills
24 February, 2010
Quote received, signed, and sent back to add the necessary module to send customers utility bills via email.
Quote to Email Utility Bills
Web Pay Proposal
5 March, 2010
Infinitech send a proposal for handling the customer credit card payments, which will connect and update our vendors software.
Infinitech Web Pay Proposal
Credit Card Fee Split
16 April, 2010
The City decides to split the credit card processing with the customer when paying their bill online via credit card. The State Auditors Office is consulted to ensure there is no violation on the City's end.
Email from State Auditor
Utility Connect Trial
20 April, 2010
The ball starts rolling as the City signs paperwork with our software vendor to provide a web portal which will allow our customers to access their utility bill in greater detail. The portal will allow for payment via credit card. At this point, the vendor provides the web portal and customer data, Infinitech will handle the credit card transactions, and the City will split the credit card processing fee with the customer (anything over $4).
An initial investment of $6,000 was paid to the software vendor to setup the portal, which uses their hardware, and is cloud based to avoid a larger investment and PCI compliance issues that the City would need to handle.
18 May, 2010
Council discusses the "split" fee structure and how it will work. Ordinance 2010-22 has its first reading.
1 June, 2010
Council questions if the costs outweigh the benefits due to the annual maintenance fee of $2,000 and eating a portion of the credit card processing fee. Ordinance 2010-22 has its second reading and passes by a vote of 4-1.
1 September, 2010
After months of setup and waiting on the vendors, on-line bill pay is live and ready for customer trials.
Questions about the Fee
9 September, 2010
During testing, the credit card fee was passed entirely to the customer and not "split" as the City had intended.
21 September, 2010
Infinitech is unable to "split" the credit card processing fee as intended, leaving Ordinance 2010-22 invalid as they can either pass the entire fee to the customer, or to the City. Coupled with some security flaws found on the customer web-portal that had the potential to expose customer information such as non-encrypted Credit Card details and user passwords, this iteration of the project is scrapped. Ordinance 2010-37 (rescind Ordinance 2010-22) has its first reading.
5 October, 2010
Ordinance 2010-37 (rescind Ordinance 2010-22) has its second reading and passes 5-0.
19 October, 2010
Finance Director Christine May calls local banks in search of options to handle physical credit card payments and using merchant accounts to pay online. All options come with a high maintenance of equipment cost and credit card processing fees that will need to be passed to the customer or eaten by the City (no split).
The project sits stagnant as Council doesn't like the idea of eating the fee as the City would surely incur a loss, and without knowing how many people would use the service, the City isn't sure how much of a loss it would take and how it would affect other operations.
Another method discussed was to raise the cost of ALL utility bills similiar to a private business "marking up" its product in order to eat the processing fee. Everyone would pay more, but people paying by check or cash would pay more for no reason.
Passing the entire fee onto the customer was discussed and the expected result was a low adoption of this service, and had negative feedback from most citizens.
8 January, 2018
Finance Director Craig Davis, Clerk Patrica Rusch, and IT Admin Justin LaBenne begin the process of looking for Online Bill Pay options once again, this time passing the entire fee onto the customer and hopefully finding a solution that will tie into our existing software package.
11 June, 2018
Alternatives have been evaluated and nothing out there provides integration into our existing software as we would like. The decision is made to roll our own product so we can control the workflow and allow the clerk time and daily transcipts of charges made in order to manually update customer accounts after a payment is made online.
Due to the low expected adoption rate of the service, the project is not considered priority and is targeted for a 2019 1st Qtr. release to the public.
Beta Release 0.1.0
19 November, 2018
The very first version of this website is released to the public via Facebook for initial feedback.
Beta Release 0.8.0
14 June, 2019
A more streamlined version of this site is released to the public without advertisment and early beta testers are invited to provide feedback.
Beta Release 0.9.0
20 December, 2019
Feedback has been evaluated and changes have been made to provide an easier method of entering the account number, and the "flow" through the steps has been improved to decrease time spent making a payment.
18 March, 2020
Initial release to the public.
19 March, 2020
Bug fix on due-date calculation (singular day -vs- days when due days is "1")
26 March, 2020
* Minor formatting fixes
* Add Late-Fee text link on due-date alert
* Added documentation to help pages
27 March, 2020
* Report page added
- As part of the Open Data project, total payments and fees are listed by month
08 April, 2020
* Added "Can't type in Payment amount" help page
* Red text for serious problems to stand out
* Label under service address for un-needed user input
* Lookup current amount due.
* Lookup past usage and payment history.