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Online bill paying to come for county
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Local residents may soon be able to skip the hassle of mailing a check or driving in to pay county bills. Rockdale County is looking at setting up an online payment vendor for all its departments within the next couple of months.

There would be no cost to the county to have the system, said Purchasing Manager Tina Malone after the Tuesday evening Board of Commissioners work session. There would, however, be a convenience fee of $2.50 charged for each transaction.

“This service will reduce the number of payments made over the counter and phone,” said Malone, which would reduce the phone wait times and customer service wait times. The service would be available to every department that charges bills, including the courts, Tax Commissioner, Sheriff's Office, and Rockdale Water Resources.

The company to be selected is HPES Enterprise Services, LLC. They also serve as the online payment vendor for DeKalb County, Douglas County, and Columbia county.

There were nine companies that originally sent in proposals, which was narrowed to a short list of four. Malone said the committee evaluated the companies based on its client references, implementation plan, rates/fees, and the equipment, training and support offered.

The committee that evaluated the proposals was made up of County Court Clerk Ruth Wilson, Brandon Mitchell of the Finance Department, Tommy Pitchford of the county’s MIS (or IT) department, and Al Ford of Rockdale Water Resources.

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said, “For all of the citizens, this is going to be big news, good news.”

The vote on approving the agreement with HPES is on the agenda for the BOC’s Jan. 11 voting session. After the agreement is approved, it will take several weeks to implement the program, said Malone. Customers and residents can expect to see online services sometime in March.