Groveport eyes additional convenience fees

SCOTT GERFEN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Using a credit or debit card to pay for some transactions in the city of Groveport soon could include additional fees, if City Council approves.

The city already has implemented convenience fees for utility/building and zoning department payments made with a credit or debit card either online or in person at the municipal building.

Now City Council is considering a 3% fee on payments related to the recreation and community-affairs departments, paid either in person or through the city's website.

If approved, the new fees would be implemented by Sept. 1.

"The fees are necessary to cover the cost of these transactions and there is no profit to the city," said Jason Carr, the city's finance director.

In his July 23 report to council, Carr presented information that showed Groveport paid nearly $30,000 in 2018 and more than $31,000 in 2019 in credit and debit card fees for transactions related to golf and recreation activities.

Convenience fees for water and sewer payments made with a credit or debit card went into effect July 1:

* Those paying in person with a card at the city's utility/building and zoning departments are charged a 3.75% fee, with a minimum $3.95 per transaction.

* Online utility payments are charged a 2.8% convenience fee, with a fixed fee of $6.99 per transaction for amounts of between $250 and $325.

* Convenience fees of 3.75% are charged for online credit or debit card transactions for water and sewer payments of $325.01 or more.

The city continues to accept cash, checks and money orders; convenience fees are not added to any of those forms of payment, Carr said.

Also, a new payment option became available July 1, specifically for utilities. ACH (automated clearinghouse) payments are not charged convenience fees. However, Carr said residents and businesses must complete paperwork authorizing the city to process ACH payments and should call Groveport's utility department at 614-830-2048 to sign up.

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