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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • BPW’s new software costing city revenue

  • The old adage “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is by no means always true.
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  • The old adage “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is by no means always true. A case in point is the Hannibal Board of Public Works’ new online and mobile bill pay interface – SmartHub. While it is saving the BPW money, those dollars are coming at the expense of the city of Hannibal.
    At the BPW Board meeting earlier this month, Heath Hall, the BPW’s director of operations, reported that SmartHub was one of the options included in a software package that was introduced in January of this year.
    “We’re not really promoting SmartHub, but people are still signing up,” said Hall.
    At the time of the BPW Board’s July 15 meeting 10 new customers had signed up in July for the service, bringing the overall total to 589.
    “It’s cutting down on the amount of traffic we’re seeing in the (BPW’s) front office,” said Hall.
    Of even greater significance is the fact that the number of BPW bill payments being made downtown at Hannibal City Hall is also declining. This is noteworthy since the BPW pays the city $1 for each payment made in the Collector’s Office. Hall estimates the number of payments being processed at City Hall has dropped by “approximately 400 per month.”
    “It’s saving the BPW money,” said Hall.
    According to Hall, the BPW annually budgets $30,000 to cover the handling fee costs at City Hall. Hall reports a projected savings of “approximately $5,000 per year,” thanks to the growing popularity of SmartHub.
    According to the BPW website, SmartHub not only allows users to make payments, but allows them to monitor their monthly and historic usage, contact the BPW office with “questions and concerns,” and receive e-mail and text alerts.

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