DECATUR - The Decatur City Council is set to consider an
agreement to change the way city utility bills could be collected
at its meeting tonight (Feb. 19).
The three-year agreement with Busey Bank subsidiary FirsTech
Inc. would likely cost the city about $60,000 annually in service
fees, according to a memorandum distributed to council members. It
would provide a "lockbox" function, allowing residents to send
their payments to a post office box where FirsTech would collect
and process the payments for the city.
"It will be completely transparent. When you get your bill and
you have the envelope inside, it'll just have a different address
on it than it does now," said Assistant City Manager Jerry
Bauer said citizens already can pay their bills online and via
telephone, services that would also be offered under the new
arrangement. The agreement would provide for more locations to pay
bills in person, although those have not yet been determined.
"Basically, this is a back-office kind of thing where it
improves our efficiency over time to allow us to process bills and
so forth," Bauer said.
In other business, the council will consider an
intergovernmental agreement with Hickory Point Township, Long Creek
Township, Mount Zion Township and the Macon County Highway
Department related to micro-surfacing road projects.
Micro-surfacing can extend the life of pavement by up to seven
years, but is significantly less expensive than resurfacing
The city undertook a $108,000 micro-surfacing project last year
and subsequently surveyed residents in the Fairlawn neighborhood
whose streets received treatment. Of 51 respondents to the survey,
which was mailed to 220 homes, 44 residents said they were
satisfied with or neutral about the surface.
By combining the micro-surfacing projects of all the local
governments into one bid, it is hoped that they could get a better
price for the materials and work, Bauer said.
"Basically, this will allow us to have a buy-in consortium for
our materials and contractor for the project," Bauer said. "We
would be, at least initially, the lead agency, and we would
coordinate any projects that are set up this year with that
contractor for all of these different entities that are
FirsTech Inc. provides innovative payment processing solutions
to the government, insurance, utility, healthcare, telecom, cable
and finance industries. FirsTech processes millions of transactions
per year using the Fusion payment processing platform - which
provides industry leading bill payment channel integration for
walk-in bill payment processing at its 3,000 agent locations in 36
states - lockbox, online bill pay, IVR, mobile, CSR, bank bill pay
concentration (e-lockbox/e-box). For 30 years and counting,
FirsTech provides custom payment solutions to clients with a focus
on efficiency and execution. This results in higher customer
satisfaction and lower payment processing costs.
FirsTech is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Busey Bank through
First Busey Corporation-a diversified financial holding company
headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. More information about First
Busey Corporation can be found at busey.com.
Officer l Communications Manager