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Automatic bill paying coming to Grandview

GRANDVIEW - Paying your water bill will no longer necessitate a trip to city hall or the expense of a stamp. This fall, Grandview residents will have the option of having their utility bill automatically debited from their checking account.

Monday night, Grandview City Treasurer John Myers explained to Council that the utility billing system the city is currently using is capable of automatically debiting people's personal accounts.

Myers explained that the only change customers will see comes if they choose to participate in the automated billing program. He said those who sign up will have the net amount of their utility bill debited from their checking account on the 20th of every month.

Myers told Council members operating the automated system will cost the city approximately $50 a month for 100 accounts. However, he explained that the cost will be recouped quickly because it will mean 100 fewer accounts city staff members will have to spend time opening and processing.

Myers said the automated system will benefit both customers and the city, noting that it will minimize the number of transactions staff members have to deal with at the front desk. He said it is also a service residents have been asking for recently.

Myers noted that the same system is currently being successfully used in Selah.

According to Myers, those who sign up to have their utility bill automatically paid will still receive a bill in the mail every month. The only difference will be that the funds will automatically be taken out of the customer's checking account on the 20th of the month.

Myers said making the automatic billing paying system available to residents won't require any change in ordinance or a resolution.

"It's basically a check to the city," he said.

Myers said the system should be in place by Sept. 1, meaning those who sign up will have their first bill automatically deducted on Sept. 20. Those interested in taking part in the automated payment system can pick up an authorization agreement at Grandview City Hall.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at eolmstead@eaglenewspapers.com

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