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City of Havre leads the charge into paying bills

Havre City Hall has heard the voices of the bill-payers and it has listened to their needs.

Monday morning saw the first of the long-awaited credit card transactions, opening the gates for anyone to pay any city fee or fine with credit cards, in person or over the phone.

Havre Finance Director Doug Kaercher said that the city had received requests for the service for a long time, but had to overcome a few challenges before offering it.

The main concern was how to pay the fees that credit card companies charge a business that wants to accept their cards.

Kaercher said they had discussions about whether the city could charge credit card users extra or if the city should cover those costs.

They ultimately decided to charge a 3 percent convenience fee to cover the costs.

Credit cards can now be used to pay water bills, ambulance charges, building permit fees, dog registration fees or any police related fines or fees.

"In this day and time, it's a necessary tool to run a business," Kaercher said. "And the city certainly is a business, supplying services."

This is the first of a few changes to the city's finances, Kaercher explained.

The city is also going to more aggressively pursue past-due fees and bills.

In a few months the city will begin accepting automatic electronic funds transfers, where customers provide their bank routing number and checking account number so the city can automatically withdraw a billed amount.

The next few months may also see a few changes that Kaercher is working on, including a $30 insufficient fund check return fee and a $5 per month late fee for bills.


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