Big Lakes County preparing to accept credit cards

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County will soon accept credit cards for people to pay their property taxes, utilities and other products and services.

At its regular meeting March 27, council passed two motions to introduce payments by credit card through the Virtual City Hall computer online system.

Council first approved a motion to approve the use of credit cards as an option for all County payments online through Virtual City Hall and charge the credit card user a three per cent credit card processing fee for the use of the credit card.

Council approved a second motion to approve the use of credit cards as an option for all payments at the two County offices in High Prairie and Kinuso and charge the credit card user a three per cent credit card processing fee for the use of the credit card.

Reeve Tyler Airth says the system will be paid by credit card users.

“There will be no cost to the County,” Airth says.

“Charges will be directed to the credit card user.”

North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk notes the charges are fair.

“It’s not a money grab from the County,” Zabolotniuk says.

South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart says people have long asked about credit cards to pay their bills.

“When I worked here, we would get lots of requests for credit cards,” says Stewart, who has served on council since 2013.

“It gives ratepayers another option to pay.”

Grouard Councillor Jeff Chalifoux asked whether there is a demand for credit cards.

Finance manager Joey Sutton says the County continues to get requests.

“Staff at the front desk get calls daily asking if we accept credit cards.”

Administration is currently in the process of implementing Virtual City Hall, an online portal where residents can view and pay their bills in one place, he notes.

“The use of credit cards to pay for County services is a key feature of VCH and the inability to use credit cards would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the program,” Sutton says.

He says the option to pay by credit cards will be in service in the coming weeks, in time for people to pay taxes.

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