Why does Heber Public Utility District continue to charge a municipal online payments fee? I was told this would be temporary, but it has been going on since the inception of paying online. This is the only convenient way to pay unless you take cash to the office, because if you give them a check it could take weeks to cash, or if you use your bank to pay online it takes weeks for them to process payment and you are charged late fees. — Looking for Help, Heber
There is a way to get out of the $1.25 service charge that third-party vendor Tyler Technologies charges Heber Public Utility District water and sewer customers: go paperless.
The Heber district started accepting online payments in April 2011. However, in January the district Board of Trustees voted to go to a paperless billing system. As part of that, if a water/sewer customer signs up for the paperless option, then the district will credit that $1.25 back to their account.
Fischer said the rationale for crediting back the online payment costs is the district is still saving money on the costs associated with printing, paper, postage and the staff time needed to fold and stuff envelopes. She said the paperless route allows for the statement to be emailed to customers.
Unfortunately, of the 1,600 customers served by the Heber district, it doesn’t sound as if there are many of them enrolled in the paperless program. Fischer encourages Heber residents to participate.
Residents can go to www.heber.ca.gov to sign up.
“It’s a good service to our customers and their bills will always be there on time,” she said. “Free to sign up and free to pay your bill; can’t beat it.”