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City will offer utility billing online

If the only check you write each month is to the city of Rosemount, you might finally be able to put away the checkbook for good. Starting in March the city will offer online bill paying for water and sewer service.

Starting with the bills mailed out in early March, residents can register to view and pay their water and sewer bills online. Residents can also pay by calling a toll-free telephone line.

Finance director Jeff May said residents will receive instructions on how to use the new system with their March statement. He encouraged residents to take a good look at the insert.

"There will be pretty detailed instructions," said May.

In addition to being able to pay online, residents will have the option to receive bills through email or to set up automatic payments. Residents can continue to receive and pay their bills through traditional mail as well as in person at city hall.

May said eventually residents will be able to view their payment history on the site, but that part of the system is not yet finished.

Providing payment options online has been a goal of the city council for several years. Last August, the council approved the purchase of new Civic Systems software to make it possible. The city had not updated its billing software since 2000. The new system cost more than $25,000 including the software, implementation and training expenses.

In a press release, mayor Bill Droste said, "We believe many of our utility customers will appreciate the convenience of the online option. And reducing paperwork fits in with the council's goal to improve sustainability of city operations."

The city processes more than 7,000 accounts. May said if residents use the system it will make inputting information easier and will cut down on some work. However, he added that it will take time to know how many residents actually use the new system.

"We won't know if people are taking advantage of it for six months to a year," said May.

Residents can view the new system at Residents can also call 1-877-885-7968. The system will accept credit and debit cards, as well as electronic payments from checking or savings accounts.  With auto-pay, users do not have to keep track of making payments each month. Auto-payments can be set for the amount of the bill or a budgeted amount.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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