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Published: Tuesday, 8/13/2013

Mayor Bell wants to move water billing online

BLADE STAFF

The Bell administration wants to start online billing for the approximately 500,000 water customers in Toledo and surrounding communities in order to cut down the time people spend waiting on hold to speak with a city employee.

Also today, Mayor Mike Bell announced on Twitter and in a statement that he reduced the need for most customers to pay a $200 security deposit for water accounts. "Now only those [with] poor histories will pay deposits," the mayor wrote on the social media Web site.

The cost to start letting people view and pay bills online will be about $250,000, said Public Utilities Directors Dave Welch.

“This will take more people off the phones so I see it as a huge plus for customer service,” Mr. Welch said.

The $250,000 is contained within a $563,000 spending request for maintenance of the utilities department computer system. It was discussed today by Toledo City Council during its agenda review meeting.

The proposed customer billing invoice system upgrade would allow customers to view bills on-line, pay bills on-line, view consumption, manage addresses, manage bank accounts, and ask questions regarding accounts.



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