Montgomery County will charge water customers convenience fee for credit card use

Montgomery County Environmental Services will charge water and sewer customers a 2.3% convenience fee starting in August if they use a debit or credit card for payment.

The decision was made because of the increased processing fee costs the county has had to pay, Environmental Services Director Matt Hilliard said.

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“For well over a decade, Montgomery County has been absorbing credit and debit card processing fees for customers paying their sewer and water bill with a card,” he told the Dayton Daily News.

“We can no longer absorb those costs. And we don’t want to raise rates,” he said. “We believe that those who do not pay their bill with a card, do not want to pay the fees for those who do.”

The county paid $400,000 in processing fees last year, the director said. In 2013, the county processed 62,000 transactions overall and paid $110,000 in fees. The county processed 145,000 transactions overall in 2021. Exactly how many transactions used a card last year was not available Tuesday.

“The expected amount of the convenience fee will offset the credit card fees,” the director said, adding that the fees will only apply to those who use a card to pay for sewer and water services.

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Montgomery County Environmental Services provides water and sewer services to 80,000 customers and serves 525,000 residents.

There is time to set up another form of payment, Hilliard said, including direct debit from a bank account where there will be no convenience fee. A person can make a cash payment in person or make a payment at five drop-off locations throughout the county.

The news of the convenience fee was met with some concern.

Zyatrice Frost, a customer of Montgomery County’s water services, said some people are already having trouble paying their bills.

“I don’t think it’s fair. We are already going through enough with the pandemic,” she said. “It’s already hard for us.”

She said that she would rather not have to carry cash to pay for her water bill .

People also voiced concern about the fee on the county’s social media page when it was announced earlier this month.

Anyone with questions about the new policy can call 937-781-2688.

Secure drop-off locations:

Montgomery County Water Services - 1850 Spaulding Road, Dayton

Montgomery County Administration Building - 451 W Third St., Dayton.

Centerville Government Center - 100 W Spring Valley Pike, Centerville.

Harrison Twp. Government Center - 5949 N Dixie Drive, Dayton.

Moraine Government Center - 4200 Dryden Road, Moraine.

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