City looks at software to save money

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

City Hall has had enough of knocking on doors.

New Chiefland City Manager Kevin Gay told commissioners Monday night that the city spends about $6,000 a year in man hours sending staff out to city residents' homes to let them know payment for their utility bills is late.

"We'd like to dissolve the program," Gay said. "It's costing the city quite a bit."

Gay said the city can purchase computer software for about $1,800 that automatically sends out a phone call or text to late bill payers. An additional cost of about $230 a year pays for maintenance and upgrades.

The software can also be used to send out emergency alerts from the police department, he said.

Mayor Teal Pomeroy asked Gay how many residents are late on payments. Gay said it varies, though some utility users are consistently late every month.

The matter was tabled until the commission's next meeting after Commissioner Rollin Hudson asked if a grant might be available to pay for the software. Staff said they would look into the option.