By Mina Williams and Katie Murdoch For The Herald
Cities in south Snohomish County are adding more options to pay fees and fines through their websites.
Lynnwood began accepting certain payments in December. The offering is not sophisticated, said Dean Rhola, accounting manager, but it is a start.
Water, sewer and storm utility bills can be paid electronically. However customers can only pay the amount that is owed; no partial payments are accepted. And only credit and debit cards are accepted. Customers who wish to pay through a bank check need to pay their utility bill electronically through their own bank, use the drop box at city hall or pay at the counter at city hall. Utility payments also can be paid over the phone using a credit or debit card.
Recreation fees, red-light tickets and select fines levied by the city’s court also can be paid through the city’s website, www.ci.lynnwood.wa.us.
Lingering budget constraints have hampered more upgrades, Rhola said.
Customers in Mountlake Terrace can pay for recreation programs, utility bills and permits online at www.cityofmlt.com.
The online option makes it easier and faster for applicants, staff said. Users can submit applications and fees on their own time and the city will respond the next business day.
“Permitting various small and straightforward projects — the kind that normally can be done over-the-counter, such as water heater permits — via the online option is very practical for homeowners and contractors,” finance director Sonja Springer wrote in an email.
While applications for building permits can be made online, permits themselves can’t be issued electronically, noted Susie Read, permit specialist.
Options to pay for animal and business licenses online could come as early as next year.
So far, the software costs for animal license fees have been prohibitive, Springer said.
The option to pay business licenses online is on hold while staff awaits the results of proposed legislation.
Edmonds revamped its online presence in October, migrating from its former site to www.edmondswa.gov. This move came with the ability to make system upgrades.
Water, sewer and storm utility bills can be paid online using a debit or credit card in addition to Parks and Recreation Department fees, said Denise Burk, utility clerk. Cash or check payments must be made in person.
“Things are much faster with the new site,” she said.