The downside of ‘convenience’

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Since at least 2014, Franklin’s City Council has been looking for ways to make paying tax and utility bills more convenient for residents — namely with its plans to offer the ability to make payments online via the city’s website. But, as the council recently learned, there is also a downside to “convenience” — this being deciding who gets to pay the convenience fees associated with using credit and debit cards.

On Monday, the members of council found the idea of passing these costs onto residents to be unacceptable, but also decided it would be unaffordable for the city to foot the bill, which was expected to nearly double once the online billing system went live. This left but one choice, and that was to leave everything as-is. This, of course, means that online billing will not be happening by March as previously estimated. While we at The Tidewater News hope to one day see the city be able to offer its residents the convenience of online bill payments, we appreciate the members of council looking out for the city’s residents’ ability to pay any associated costs.