County tables action to accept credit cards
Commissioners tabled action on a contract with Gov-Pay to enable the Orange County Tax Assessor-Collector office to accept over the counter debit/credit cards. Payments with credit/debit cards has been available online, but not for transactions made in person at the tax office. OC Tax Assessor-Collector Lynda Gunstream said she had checked several different services and the county would get a better price with Gov-Pay.
“There is a convenience fee which is required,” said Gunstream. “The customer pays the convenience fee. The county does not get any of the fees; it all goes to the service. That is the same way it is online.” The fee would be 2.5 percent of the transaction or $3, whichever was higher. Debit card transactions would be slightly lower at 1.95 percent. Gov-Pay would also supply the machines where other companies would require the county to buy the machines. She said she checked with other county offices that use Gov-Pay and they are happy with the service.
Commissioner Jody Crump asked if it would allow people to pay for their taxes at places like grocery stores.
“I’m just not real comfortable with doing that because I’m responsible for that,” said Gunstream. “We have done it through credit unions and I’m comfortable with that but they have to purchase or lease the machines in order to do that and it’s not always cost effective for them to do that,” she said.
The contract acceptance was tabled for a week to give the court time to study the contract, because commissioners were not provided with a copy before the court session. Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning has reviewed the contract and said everything was in order and he saw no problems with it. The contract can be cancelled with a 30 day notice from either party.
County Engineer Clark Slacum requested permission to fill another budgeted position for a truck driver left vacant by the unexpected retirement of Chuck Bell on Jan. 18. Slacum is already seeking applicants to fill the vacancy cause by the retirement of Richard Monroe. For both positions, hiring would not be effective until March 1. Slacum eliminated three vacant positions during the budget workshops. These two positions leave five vacancies in total for Road and Bridge. Slacum said he would hold off until March 1 to fill the vacancies, because that is when road building and repairs ramp up for the year. There will be a substantial savings replacing the positions paying $18.08 with new workers at starting wages of $12.70.
Commissioners also approved the appointment of Spencer Fuss and Prentice Scarbourgh as the Emergency Services District #4 commissioners, which is a two year term.