The city of Patterson accepts online payments for water bills at https://patterson.merchanttransact.com/default.aspx For information: Patterson finance department, 895-8040.
Patterson residents can pay their water bills with the click of a mouse, using a website the city set up in hopes of streamlining operations at City Hall.
Online payments became possible Nov. 1, according to Finance Director Minnie Moreno said, who said the website is the culmination of two years of work.
“We’ve integrated it with our internal accounting software,” she said, which makes it easy for the city to see when a payment is made. “We’re really excited about this option.”
Online payments apply immediately to the payer’s account, she said.
Other features include an option to receive an electronic bill via email rather than a paper bill delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, Moreno said.
Residential customers can pay their utility bills using a major credit card or electronic check.
The city tacks on a $2.50 convenience charge to pay electronically, to cover fees from credit card companies. The charge will be evaluated in six months, Moreno said, and the City Council ultimately will decide if it is too high or too low.
The new system also allows bill payers to call in a payment by phone, Moreno said.
Electronic bill paying is expected to be more efficient, as city staff members will spend less time taking bill payments at City Hall, the city finance director said.
Between Nov. 1 and Tuesday, Nov. 13, nearly 100 bills were paid electronically, Moreno said.
The city serves more than 6,000 customers.
“As we grow, we need to find ways to be efficient,” she said.
Looking ahead, the city might eventually allow building or business permit fees to be paid online, Moreno said. But that could take another year, she said.
City Manager Rod Butler said he expects the online payment system to be popular.
“We’re glad to be able to offer it,” he said. “We’re really excited to have that completed.”
Councilwoman Deborah Novelli, who openly lobbied for the service, said Tuesday Nov. 13, that she expected electronic payments to help residents avoid late fees or water shutoffs.
“I think it’s a wonderful tool that will help us save staff time and help people save money,” she said.
Councilman Dominic Farinha said it’s a good service for those who prefer paying bills online.
“I hope people take advantage of it, if that’s what works for them,” he said. “I’m real excited for those that will benefit from it.”
Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or email@example.com.