The City of Smyrna already passed credit card processing fees for online payments to its residents and other customers, and following Monday’s meeting will do so for in-person payments as well.
“The city current accepts online credit card payments through various platforms for various city services. While customers pay in person using a credit card, the city currently pays the fees associated with these transactions,” said Smyrna City Administrator Tammi Saddler Jones. “However, staff recommends that we make a change to allow the customer to pay the processing fee. The annual budget savings of passing along the online processing fee to the customer would be approximately $100,000.”
The measure passed 6-1, with Susan Wilkinson against, and goes into effect July 1.
Saddler Jones noted several methods of payment that don’t involve transaction fees: automatic bank draft, using an individual’s personal bank online bill pay, mailed payments and in-person cash or check payments at city hall.
In making a motion for passage, councilman Ron Fennel echoed Saddler Jones’ comments.
“We’re merely passing on fees that are charged by processing companies,” he said. “It’s a customary practice in business… If you choose to pay one obligation or another to the city and do not like paying processing fees, she just offered four alternatives that are acceptable.”
City Adds Burn Ordinance
By a 7-0 vote, Smyrna also enacted its first-ever burning ordinance Monday night.
The new ordinance states that no burning of yard waste is allowed at any time within the city limits, with exceptions that include grilling or cooking, burning of a “recreational fire” or burning of clean wood after obtaining a permit. Residential Burn Permits will only be issued from Oct. 1 through March 30.
“With a dense population in a relatively small geographic area, outdoor burning of yard waste and trash has become an issue,” said Saddler Jones.; “Currently, Smyrna has no ordinance that addresses outdoor burning. This amendment would address and defines what is, and is not, allowed while burning outdoors.”