CANTON — St. Lawrence County residents who use the county’s transfer stations or solid waste main office will now have the opportunity to pay with a credit card.
Lawmakers approved a contract Monday night during their full board meeting to sign a contract with Allpaid, Inc., which does business as GovPayNet, to provide credit card services at the solid waste main office and transfer stations, at no cost to the county, upon the approval of County Attorney Stephen D. Button.
The new service, however, will come with a 3 percent increase on what the consumer will already be paying, according to the Department of Highways Director Donald Chambers.
“Under the new contract there is no charge to the county,” Mr. Chambers told lawmakers during the county’s Nov. 25 Finance Committee meeting. “The fees associated with the credit card are due to the fact that it is an enterprise bond will be put on to the credit card user.”
According to the resolution, which passed unanimously during the Finance Committee meeting Nov. 25 and the full Board of Legislators meeting Monday night, lawmakers recognized that use of credit cards has become a common form of payment at most businesses and government organizations and that St. Lawrence County residents should have as many opportunities and conveniences as possible to make payment.
The resolution passed with no discussion Monday, but during the Nov. 25 Finance Committee meeting, Legislator David A, Haggard, D-Potsdam, said he believed the 3 percent cost to the consumer was rather high.
Mr. Haggard was absent from the full board meeting Monday.
Mr. Chambers assured Mr. Haggard that the cost wasn’t much higher than the approximate 2 percent merchant fee that retailers absorb when customers use a credit card.
Typically, customers don’t pay the merchant fee for credit card use, but Legislator Rick Perkins, D-Potsdam, pointed out to Mr. Haggard that it is not mandatory to use a credit card at the transfer stations and there are other forms of payment to avoid the fee.
“This is a convenience fee, it is not a merchant fee,” County Treasurer Renee M. Cole said. “There are other departments in the county that work similarly, such as the County Clerks office.”
“Welcome to the 21st century,” Legislator David W. Forsythe, R-Lisbon, said to a legislative chamber full of chuckles.