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Paying utility bills in McLouth now easier

by Dennis Sharkey

Paying bills in McLouth is now at residents’ finger tips.

The city has agreed to terms with a company to begin accepting payments for utility bills online. The Web site is www.mclouthutility.com. Residents enter their information and a convenience fee is charged. Customers will be able to see the full amount charged before submitting their payment.

“It’s a win-win situation for us,” City Administrator Carl Chalfant said. “We’ve had a lot of requests from people to pay online.”

According to notes left by City Clerk Kim Perry, the service will cost the city nothing and any fees collected for the transaction are in addition to the bill and will not come out of the full amount due to the city.

Each transaction is accompanied by an e-mail address. City officials can either accept or decline the payment with a response sent to the payer’s inbox. The Web site also provides a toll-free number for residents to call if they have problems.

The agreement with the Web site is not binding and the city can opt out of the deal at any time with no repercussions. City Attorney Carol Bonebrake said the service is legitimate and has a proven track record.

In other actions:

The city council revisited the situation of cars and other vehicles being parked on city streets. Chalfant said on some streets people are parking boats, campers and other recreational equipment.

Bonebrake said she could develop a city ordinance that prohibits parking on city streets, however, the scope and reasoning behind the need for an ordinance needs to be determined.

Some in the city have issues with large recreational vehicles constantly blocking up space on side streets, while others view it as a safety concern. Statute only requires that there be a 10 foot passage on city streets. Councilman Harlan Woodring suggested looking at how much of the street a vehicle could occupy. Chalfant said last spring the city did discuss getting at least 50 percent of a vehicle off the street so that a snow plow could pass. The issue was tabled until Chalfant and Police Chief Marcus Koch can develop a plan for streets.

The council approved a variance for a carport. City codes allow for a 30 foot setback from the street for building structures; however, the carport would encroach about five feet into the setback.

The water line project on east Cynthia Street was closed out with a payment of more than $69,000 to Daniels Excavating. Chalfant said the replacement of some old meters was added to the scope of the project.

A request was made by city employees to allow for a uniform and boot allowance for workers. Chalfant said at this time he does not want the council to make a decision. Chalfant expects federal authorities to issue new guidelines for gas pipeline works in the next six months. Workers may be required to wear fire-retardant clothing while working on lines. Chalfant also said the city is barely into this year’s fiscal budget.

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Posted by on Oct 16 2010. Filed under McLouth, Municipalities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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