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Ravenswood makes city bill payments available online

Residents of Ravenswood will now be able to pay their city bills online. (Screen Capture)

RAVENSWOOD — Residents of Ravenswood will now be able to pay their city bills online.

For the past few years, Mayor Josh Miller said Kim Vincent from the billing department has worked to make this an option for Ravenswood citizens even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were hoping to have it ready by spring of last year. We were already pursuing online payments. It makes it more convenient for folks,” Miller said.

For the time being, only the municipal bills can be paid online which include the one bill that encompasses water, sewer, garbage and other city fees.

Miller said he hopes the online platform can be expanded to include payments for traffic tickets, shelter rentals or other city transactions.

“It makes it more convenient for our citizens. Before, it was checks and cash so if you wanted to pay that bill, you had to come inside City Hall,” he said. “With the COVID pandemic, people don’t want to have face-face interaction, especially exchanging money.”

Nexbillpay is the software used for payments; people can go online to either create an account or make a one-time payment.

Physical bills will still be sent in the mail.

“When they can get the bill they can go to cityofravenswood.com and type in (their) account number,” Miller said.

A small fee will be charged to pay with a credit or debit card online but Miller said the company offering the payment is charging that fee.

“Any time you use a credit card or debit card, you’re paying a fee. The only difference is us as a public entity, we have to display what that fee is,” he said. “In this case, the credit card company collects the fee, it doesn’t go through us.”

The fee is a percentage of the bill total and the range should be around $2,

Previously, people had to physically go to City Hall to drop off their payments. When the new City Hall building on Wall Street opened in 2019, it had a drive-through because it was previously a bank.

“Pretty much everybody uses the drive-through, everybody loves that drive-through. We were very blessed to get this building at the price we did, it’s making things way more convenient. You can do all your business for the city at one location,” Miller said.

The main reaction from people in the city is a question of why it hadn’t been done before.

“These things take time and it wasn’t a major priority. I was focused on infrastructure, now that we’ve moved forward with where we need to be, it’s natural to update that portion of our software as well,” Miller said.

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