LOCK HAVEN — If all the paperwork arrives by Thursday’s voting session, Clinton County commissioners will decide whether county offices will offer card payment options in the future.
Commissioners have been considering this payment option for years after requests from the Treasurer’s Office and other county government departments. Over the past few years, residents have also met with the Commissioners and requested that the option of payment by debit or credit card be made available.
“It would be to pay taxes, licenses, fees, fines and the like at various county offices and online,” said chief clerk Jann Meyers.
Meyers said commissioners had rejected other companies in the past because there would have been a cost to the county and ratepayers. “They wanted a proposal where all costs would be borne by the user”, Meyers said.
This proposal came from Woodlands Bank and its partner, Payment Innovations.
“Their proposal has no charge to the county, the vendor provides the processing machines at no charge and the user will pay a 2.75% fee but not less than $2 to be paid by credit card,” Meyers explained. “The system will be integrated with current county processes and will allocate payments to the correct department and provide reports that will streamline the process.”
Rich Kuczawa of Woodlands Bank and Emily Barr of Payment Innovations attended the Commissioners’ working session to answer questions and provide further information on the program.
Kuczawa told the commissioners that the proposal had not changed since they presented it to the board. He stressed that machines would be provided to any department that joins the program, including the treasurer, county courts, prothonotary and others.
Barr spoke about his own business, noting that Payment Innovation has partnered with other banks across the United States. Payment Innovation has worked with several governments and organizations across Pennsylvania, she said.
“We are deploying our services at no cost to the county…we are ready to provide the equipment,” she says. “Essentially any department in the county can have this service…if there’s a payment attached to it, we can create revenue that can provide a pathway.”
Barr said if the proposal is accepted, Payment Innovations would work with the county’s IT department to integrate its services into the county’s software systems.
It was also noted that although the proposal involves a three-year contract, the county can cancel at any time as long as they submit 30 days written notice.
Commissioner Jeff Snyder thanked Barr and Kuczawa for working with the county. He noted that the 2.75% rate was higher during the talks.
“I want to thank you because the fees were higher and you negotiated with us to arrive at 2.75”, he said. “It’s a benefit for our users. We tried to put something in place for our users.
The proposal is being reviewed by the county attorney.
Council chairman Miles Kessinger said that as long as he is brought back to the council by Thursday, they will vote to accept or reject the proposal.
“I hope it will be on our agenda for formal approval,” he said.
Before adjourning the meeting, Kessinger again reminded the public that Thursday’s meeting would be at 11 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. due to a prior commitment.