Wolfforth changes utility bill, credit card system
Wolfforth residents might notice utility bills seem a bit lengthier recently, but they’re less expensive to send out, say city officials.
Debbie Perkey, city secretary, said the post office is changing its requirements for entities like the city of Wolfforth to send out bills. The city needed to invest in a new printer to print a bar code on the utility postcard it has been sending out for years.
But in looking at alternatives, she said city office workers discovered they could outsource the mailings to a company called DP2 Billing Solutions.
The bills from DP2 Billing Solutions are more detailed and arrive in an envelope with a return envelope.
Perkey said since a recent mailing of utility bills went out, she has received some calls of concern about the expected increased expense.
Because the city can now combine utility bills with other mail, such as a quarterly water update from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the city will save money by outsourcing the billing, she said.
“At the end of the year, we expect to save about $1,000,” Perkey said. “Because we’re able to combine mailings, it saves us money in the long run.”
Perkey said the city has extra mailings about five times a year.
The new bill format gives customers more information than they had before, including a 12-month graph on water usage in gallons. It also has room for special messages on the bill, where city workers can include information events like the recent National Night Out event and the upcoming Wolfforth Harvest Festival.
The new bill complies with the post office requirements without requiring the purchase of a new printer for bar codes, Perkey said.
A Wolfforth man picking up his mail on Friday said he had some of the same concerns that Perkey said residents were sharing with her. Because he takes his bill to city hall to pay for his utilities, he thought the presence of an envelope to send in payment was unnecessary.
“I didn’t mind the way we had it,” Peter Fehr said. But after hearing why the city changed the bill, he nodded and said it was a good deal.
Another change for those paying utility bills in Wolfforth is in the new credit card system on the city’s website.
A pin number for each resident is included on the statement. Those who wish to pay online can log in on the city’s website, change the given pin number, and see their account and history online.
“They will be able to view and manage some aspects of their account,” Perkey said.
Payments made on the website can now be made and viewed in real time, Perkey said, although she added that users might have to log out and back in to see the updated balance.
The fee for paying by credit card is still 3 percent of the total, Perkey said.
Changes to the bill and to the online payment should help city residents, Perkey said.
“We’ve tried to improve the customer service,” she said.
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