Jemison residents will soon have option to pay water bill onlineBy Emily Etheredge Published 3:50pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Residents in Jemison will soon have the option to pay their monthly water bills online.
The Jemison City Council unanimously approved the online water payment system on Monday and everything should be implemented on the website for the city of Jemison within the next couple of months.
Councilman Rex Bittle, who was instrumental in working toward the new website feature, said on Wednesday that it will take 60-90 days to get everything in place once the contract has been signed with the city.
Bittle said he estimated the contract would be signed early next week and everything would be ready after the 60-90 day period.
“We will start the new system at the beginning of the month due to the water meters being read late in the month,” Bittle said.
The online feature will be listed on the city of Jemison’s website with a link that will direct customers to pay their water bill online.
Currently, residents living in the city limits receive their water bill on a small index card.
Bittle said with the new company, Billtrust.com, residents will now receive their water bills on a regular size sheet of loose-leaf paper with special notes about city information on the bills each month.
“We will have 12 times a year that we will be able to send something out to the residents so we will want to utilize that extra space on the paper to keep everyone informed of different things going on in the city,” Bittle said.
Bittle said Billtrust.com will also provide services with billing and mailing to reduce the handwork from the front office workers at city hall.
City Clerk Sheila Hogge said during the council meeting on Monday that residents often request the ability to pay their bills online.
Although the option will soon be implemented, the council acknowledged on Monday that not everyone will be required to pay their water bill online for those who like to pay their bills via mail or in person at city hall.
“We are not replacing anything, we are just adding a new service,” Mayor Eddie Reed said during the meeting.
Bittle said realistically, 10- to 15-percent of residents in Jemison are estimated to use the online service with the hope the service will grow over time.
“A lot of banks are pushing things electronically now so we hope that this feature will grow in the future,” Bittle said.
During the council meeting, Bittle said the total amount to set everything up for the service should cost roughly $2,500 or less.
The website for the city is JemisonAlabama.org.