Card plan for services considered

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Lincoln County supervisors are considering a plan that wouldallow citizens to pay for public services through debit and creditcards.

The proposal, suggested by department heads, would authorize aprivate enterprise to process purchases made through debit orcredit cards in public offices or online.

“We would like to offer citizens another option to pay taxes,tags, solid waste or anything in my office they care to do,” saidChancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop.

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Tax Collector/Assessor Nancy Reeves Jordan said it is a serviceher constituents have been requesting for quite some time.

“We’ve had an awful lot of requests in my office for us to dothis,” she said.

Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins also spoke in favor of theproposal.

Bishop said that while it would be illegal for the county to paythe standard fees to a financial institution typically associatedwith the service, Bank of Brookhaven has pledged to support theplan by waiving the fees.

District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson expressed somepersonal and religious concerns about the plan. He said technologywas turning people into numbers and he opposed any proposal thatwould identify a person as a number.

“I understand that’s the way the world is going, but I don’tbelieve in that and I oppose it,” he said.

District Four Supervisor Doug Moak said the proposal soundedpromising and could help citizens even further by “removing a lotof those long lines to pay” their bills.

“It also eliminates a lot of bad check issues,” said SteveParker, representing Cash Flow Solutions, LLC, a private creditcard and electronic commerce company working with department headsto draft the proposal.

Bishop stressed the proposal was still in an organizationalphase and would be brought before the board at a later date forapproval once the details had been worked through.

Parker estimated the company could implement the plan within 10to 14 days after formal approval.